Monday, December 24, 2007

Tabaski (pretty sure I spelled that wrong)

There was considerable confusion about the muslim fete this year, and for all I know maybe there is every year. No one seemed to know what day it was going to take place on, the school was taking Thursday off, but there was a possibility that the fete would be Tuesday or Wednesday not Thursday. In fact right up to the wire this debate raged, the Fete did end up starting Wednesday.
The lead up to the fete is relatively boring in its own way, one day I noticed a significantly larger number of sheep in town than usual, sheep in herds that is, then one day I noticed a significantly larger number of sheep in bush taxis than usual. Then one day I noticed a sheep in my concession. A real looker too, he was big and had a nice set of horns, nice thick coat, lot of greens to munch on, and glaring at me like there was no tomorrow.
Tuesday at school, the teachers made it known that indeed Wednesday had been declared the fete day, and while technically there would be class, there probably wouldn't be students. How right they were, my class Wed. had 5 students... 5 out of 71.... the class itslf went quickly µI gave them candy and we played hangman and sang jingle bells.
On the way home is when things got exciting, every other house I passed had a sheep being slaughtered in the front yard, which was just great, here I am a vegitarian who doesn't like looking at dead animals and I get to see about 10 or 12 dead or dying sheep in the span of 5 minutes, one in my very own concession. I ended up hiding in my house for about and hour or so hoping that evenutally the carcass would be removed for cooking purposes. It was although I had to request that the severed head be stored somewhere other than the basin in front of my house. So once the death was finished I did in fact join in the fete a bit. I had my feet painted red (it turned out orange) they wrote my name on my feet that is, they gave me plain rice without mutton which was very tastey and i spent the afternoon sitting under a small mango tree in my concession feeling very happy with the fete, that night I also got some yam pilé from my mama making it a very nice day full of good food.
Now on to christmas, which I also plan to spend at post.


loehrke said...

Confusion, lack of organization and dead animals??
Yep, sounds like the Africa that we've been reading about in all of the Benin blogs!!!!
And yet you guys all carry on and do your jobs. That's why we all think you are SO amazing and wonderful!!
As for spelling the title correctly?? You could fool us pretty easily!!!

Judith A. Johnson said...

Did you at least have Tabaski sauce on your rice for the fete?

Judith A. Johnson said...

I feel bad for you having to witness all that animal slaughter. Whatever my thoughts are on eating meat, at least here I feel like the end is quick, (although I may be deluding myself) and I worry about the skills of the common man in Africa to swiftly do the deed. I don't begrudge him eating sheep, I just hope it is done quickly and as painlessly as possible.
And that you don't have to see it.
Enjoy your holiday break-
Judy, Carly's mom