Because I'm cool like that...

The adventures of a knitter in Tucson, AZ.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Roots Tour 2008

Remember the book Roots? Kunta Kinte kidnapped and taken to America as a slave? Well, he was "taken" from The Gambia. So every 2 years, there is a Roots Festival here. This year the theme was "celebrating unity through culture" We started the day in Cristin's village, where we geared up. Dharma and Cristin modeling for us Then went to Cristin's village school. We were kidnapping the assistant headmaster to be our "Bumpster for the Day". While we waited for him, we decided to check out her school's library. Then we walked the 4km to the island After you go onto the island, there is a little park like thing with plants, and a statue of a kankurang... The safest way to see them, as a statue behing a fence. These guys get dressed up for ceremonies: cumcisions, etc. They walk around village at night with 2 machetes and scare off the witches and deamons and evil spirits who may try to hurt the participants while they are weak. Noone really knows for sure who is in the costume. They can be very dangerous because they are drugged and followed around by drummers. Between the drugs and the rythmic beating of the drum, they fall into a trance state and...well, your saftey cannot be garunteed if you meet one. So we hide in our houses when they are out. The outfits are traditionaly made of a certain type of bark, as seen above. Some have grass and leaves: "Modern" onee will be made out of rice bags: If you look past the kankurang there is a little Fulla boy dancing. Here is is later Me and Dharma with our "Bumpsters For The Day", the assistant headmaster from Cristin's school, and the head teacher from JJB Upper Basic School These are the little Fulla boys sitting waiting for their turn to dance. These are traditional costumes for their post-circumcision. I always feel sorry for these boys. They come back from the bush, all dressed up, and their fathers pick them up and parade around with the boys on their sholdres and everyone dances. They just got parts of their very sensitive anatomy cut off!! What if they don't want to dance?!? More Dancing The JJB Senior Secondary school band Some Serehule drummers A weding ceremony

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Randomness. Now in technicolor

Gambia is here only. It is hot, and not enough rain. We planted, but are now getting a little worried about not having enough rain and loosing crops. Added to that, the rice seed we ordered was lost by the World Food Program.
This is someone prepareing their fields. They use the "burn and pray" method. You light little fires so the grass will burn, and pray it doesn't get out of hand.

I got punched in the face on the ferry. Gambian 1 insulted the man selling the tickets for the ferry in Barra. Ticket Seller's Friend (Gambian's 2 and 3) came out and grabbed G-1 and started punching him. There was yelling and hitting and kicking. Then G-1 swung to hit G2 and instead connected with my face. I grabbed his ticket that he had dropped and ran. Made the ferry as it was pulling out. Mai was on it and we went and got a smoothie. Eye swelled a bit. But glancing blow off my glasses and got ice on it quick (yay Banjul!) so it didn't get bad.

Why I Am Afraid of Horses
I went to go out of my house, and this is what I saw:

Later, when I went to the well to fill my bucket for a bath, the other horse came and stole it. SO I am running around chasing this damn horse and screaming at it to give me back my bucket. By the way
FOR SALE One horse. Goes by the name of "goddamnitstopeatingmyfuckingfence". Free OBO.

Other intersting animal news:
My dog has been molested by a donkey. Now I know why the mother chases him off whenever he wants to go play with this baby. I fully support the mother now.

I was delayed going to Basse. Didn't feel comftorbol with the other passangers...

Travis found the Basse slaughter house rejects:

Willy says hi:

1 Should I be worried if I get into a car and it has it's own juju?

2A billboard in Basse. We are trying to decide what it is.
Sinario 1A school girl being propositioned by a school boy (out of uniform). She won't have sex with him until he finishes her homework. A few weeks ago, they put up a second one on the otherside that is a boy in uniform, so we now think this sinario is no longer valid.
Sinario 2 A teacher. She won't have sex with him until her grades are in and she has passed all her classes.
Sinario 3 A random man from village. She won't have sex with him until he pays her school fees.
why yes, I am a bit cynical about the Gambian school system. Why do you ask?