Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mud Fish Treasures

02 February 2011

Today confirmed that I’m glad to be back at site. Got up late (I’ve been running on low battery for far too long) and decided to do some sit-ups, lunges, push-ups and leg lifts before my bucket bath. It was wonderful to be physical again. Then I made a promise to myself that I would start learning Nuuni today! Little by little, but it’s time to start. So I get dressed and go out to causer with my neighbors – no one’s really around so I go to my second favorite family compound and just sit down. One lady is pounding rice: N zuah menah yah buhaa. So I just start asking questions.

  • Menah = rice
  • N zuah = to pound
  • Yah buhaa = c’est prêt, it’s ready
  • Na genah = to take
  • Neeah = water
  • Djnahn = tomorrow
  • Yea = market

I understood most of the translations but I’m sure there are some mix ups. I want to impress other volunteers with my local language like Halley, Hilary and Erika impress me! Next – I tried to go get water for my neighbors and bring it back. A little girl was sent out there – and for some reason she was so upset to go! So I joined her. Well, I learned a little more at the pump, I think that will be a good spot for learning the language. My friend Saphia cam over and was stunned that I was about to take the water in a large basin on my head to my neighboring family. Well, I guess it was smart of her to feel that way. They put this huge basin on my head and I immediately regret my decision. Ha. I was so wobbly. I had no idea it would be that heavy. All I could do was laugh and attempt to walk and as a result: water was slushing and falling all over me. Everyone was laughing. I was soaked by the time the teenager girl came to get it from me. Whoops. I want to try it again – but I think it would be a good idea to start with a smaller bowl.

After that extravaganza I went to the CSPS and met the new nurse: NEYA Lassionne. I got bored quickly and wanted to go find Agathe to learn more language and double check what I had written down. She was sleeping, so I headed to the marché to see if I could grab something to eat (maybe rice or something small from the boutique) but instead was distracted and followed my neighbor to, well, I had no idea where she was going. I normally see her at the marché selling gallets, but because she was on the move with a basket on her head… I decided to see what she was up to. I just greeted her and her friend and off we went walking into the woods. Great. Where’s my camera?! Oh yeah… Ouaga. Does me a lot of good now. We took a break in a clearing and I saw my entire family compound there (sans the men and some children). Everyone had woven baskets with two holds, one big and one small on either end – looking like a funnel. I had no idea what we were going to do. A large group of women came from the direction of the village and then we started walking again… Hmmm… Alisonne showed up and said we were going fishing. What? But there’s no body of water anywhere around here… at least not this way – we’d have to go by Taré. Oh well – I guess I’ll see when we get there. And that’s exactly what happened – we get there and there was a dried up “lake” with muddy puddles of water. What kind of fish would be living here? I don’t know… But the women all start singing and then they charge the water! Baskets, skirts, mud flying everywhere – they are in there and they want them some FISH! There must be 50 or so women all armed with their baskets and they are slamming them down into the water, putting their arms into the baskets to see if they’ve caught a fish. Once they get one, they either put their treasure of mud fish into a sac on their side, or, as I found out rather quickly, they throw their fish to the children on the “shore”… I was almost kamakazied by a fish… Man. What a sight. I do hope I can capture this with my camera before I leave. So amazing.

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