Archive for March, 2008

no gas again

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I’m finishing my third week of no cooking gas.  I’ve successfully started a coal fire twice.  Once I even made soup.  Well; ok, a Togolese helped me.  You are probably thinking of your charcoal grill and wondering how hard can it be.  Well, first of all, the little clay “foyer” is 6 inches off the ground and needs to be fanned constantly.  Secondly, there is no starter fluid or easy start coal.  I can spend 20 minutes bent over or croaching, sweating in the 100 degree heat, deperately trying to get the coals to light without result.

Needless to say, I eat out alot.  Luckily street food is cheap.

festival of knives

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

This past weekend was the festival of knives. Men and boys take “products” for a week to make their skin impenetrable. On the day of the fete; they bring knives and razors and run them along their belly, eyes, neck, and tongue without injury. One guy stabbed himself in the stomach samarui style but the blade just bent.
The next day the women danced to celebrate how strong their men are.
My camera batteries died during the event, so you will just have to believe me that it all happened.

wedding program

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I went to a civil wedding this morning conducted by the mayor.  About 40 people, friends and family of the couple, were in attendance.  I was in the minority as  a non-Muslim.  After the mayor asked the couple for their names, professions, birthdates, etc, he posed a question to the bride. 

“Which program will this marriage follow: monogomy or polygamy?”. 

A murmer of went through the crowd.

Timidly, quietly, the bride in her sparkle silver translucent headscarf and blue pagne outfit with open shoulders, replied “polygamy”.

The audience erupted in applause.

It was presented as if she had a choice.  I don’t know if she did.  I’m not sure if a 19 year old muslim girl could stand in front of her elders and family and say that she supports monogamy, even if she does hope her husband doesn’t choose to  take more wives.