Sama Waakër (On my host family)

My host family is great! It took me a few days, but I’ve learned the full dynamics of the family. My host mom’s name is Arlett. She reminds me of my own mom in that she is the epitome of all things good hostess. She’s always asking how I’m doing, ensuring I’m getting fed, and all those things. And they serve the best food in the house!! One time, she even insisted everyone talk to me in French and Wolof only since that’s what I was trying to learn! She takes the time to try to talk to me even though she doesn’t know much – if any – English and my French is deplorable. When my host sister did my hair, she insisted that I didn’t pay because “Vivi est ta soeur.”

My host dad is pretty cool too. He’s funny because it took him forever to get my name, and now whenever they introduce me to a new person, he personally ensures they are pronouncing it right. He’s the couch of the football (soccer) team here so all the young people that I was talking about in the earlier post hang out in front of our house. It’s pretty cool. People just come and go, usually come.

In our house is Vivi, she’s the youngest of four and she is 24. She has a 5 year old named Ida – sassiest little thing, but extremely cute. I think I’m sleeping in her room so right now she is staying with her older sister in a house not too far from my school. The older sister, Mico, has 2 daughters, probably 7 and 1, I’m not sure. They come around a lot and are very cute (the 7 year old is of course quite sassy, but well behaved). In my house is also Remy, Vivi’s older brother. He’s 26 and his wife Ana (she makes the best ceebu jën – rice and fish) and their son Junior, who is probably 1 and a half, live with us too, on the third floor – which I’ve never actually been to. And Baba Kaar (I might have spell that wrong) – he’s the son of Arlett and Allen’s oldest daughter who I have never met – sleeps here sometimes. But I think it’s just when he doesn’t feel like walking home.

Our house is warm and inviting and the door is always open! It’s been a great place to get to know lots of different people and work on my language skills. I’ve never had lunch with the same group of people twice. At lunch, we all eat from the same bowl and it’s just whoever is around at the time. It’s a great environment.

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