"The body is the harp of the soul. It is yours to bring forth from it sweet music or confused sounds" Kahlil Gibran

Friday, July 15, 2011

Water… with a hint of Goat

When I pulled out the first bright yellow bidong of water from Scott’s well, I immediately knew something was amiss.  The water was grey and smelled of a rotting swamp where mass burial has occurred.

 “Oh my, what is that smell?” I exclaimed in disgust.
“It’s a goat.” Scott replied.

Scott explained that a few weeks ago well no one was around, a goat made its way through the garden fence and probably became curious as to the strange concrete structure that stood a foot above its own eye level.  It promptly launched itself up to see what was on top and discovered…nothing. Scott being on the boarder to Senegal lies far from the river and the water table is very deep.  So the goat had about 40 meters in free fall to contemplate why goats can’t fly.  The result?  Bits of hair, fur, and rotting goat skin pulled up continually for weeks.  It took a few days to fish the goat out with cage like contraption but by then the goat had really funked up the water. 

Despite watering the garden with “Goat infused water” my time visiting my friend was enjoyable.  I pruned Cashew trees (with cheap machetes!), planted some pigeon peas, and disappointed a lot of the locals who hoped I spoke Fula (Scott lives in a Fula village) but could only produce the guttural Klingon verbage that is Wolof.  Here the people subsist off of rice, coos, baobob leaf, and when available small amounts of fish.  This reminds me that while I do not get some of the unique cultural benefits of living directly in the village with a host family, I do get a much greater level of nutrition that keeps away the vitamin and protein deficiency that many of my fellow village mates must deal with when consuming a dinner of coos moistened with water and a few bites of added fish. 
Scott's village
Said Small boy
I did bond with a small boy.  After hanging out with him for a few days he began begging me to use my camera...so I told him if he caught a goat he could use my camera.  A few minutes later goat in hand, I let him have the camera.  Not knowing what to take pictures of we had a goat photo shoot and maybe things got out of hand…

Step one catch goat
Step two add goat to every picture you take

This picture may come back to haunt me some day...
Scott, his host sister and cat "Carlos"

An even better picture when you sneak up from behind and add a goat...

Scott's compound, where his host sister pounds coos for dinner

Tiny Momodu always has food on his face and has the talent for high pitch screaming

Little girls everywhere carry full buckets of water on their water on their heads, they weigh perhaps 40  pounds

Scott's host mom
These pictures hopefully give a sense of village life aside from the goat pics. I hope that they help provide some experience of culture and emotion from a far away place.

I am exhausted from getting back from a trek to Senegal.  I am going to write a long post next week on my work as I have had a wonderful and rewarding time helping women in the village learn about business, while myself continuing to learn about the culture and the cashew.

We spend the day in peace,
(Nu Endoo Chi Jamma)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Xander, love your blog, can't wait for the next installment, especially loved the goat pics. I am a long time visitor to the Gambia for over 20 years and so enjoy reading your take on the country. Very accurate descriptions and observations by yourself of what life there is really like. Keep up the good work. Jamarek