Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Since we have arrived in The Gambia, local Muslims have been fasting as part of the month of Ramadan. One neither eats nor drinks from sunrise to sunset. Dancing, drumming, and singing are also prohibited. Last Saturday, on the last day of Ramadan, Laura and I fasted. It is not difficult to go for a day without eating. Not drinking in 100 degree heat, however, is quite challenging. Regardless of the challenges, we made it through the day. Koriteh, a festival which celebrates the end of Ramadan, occurred on Sunday and Monday. We all put on our Gambian clothes and visited our friend Hatibu's compound for lunch. In the evening, our language teacher, Awa Ceesay, took Laura and I to visit my namesake, or tomeh. My tomeh, who is also named Kombe Sarr (of course), lives in a part of the city called Bakau. Kombe and her family were very welcoming. On Koriteh, in the evening, children traditionally go around to compounds and ask for sweets and coins. It is in some ways similar to Halloween. On our way back from Bakau, Laura and I saw hundreds of children on Kairaiba Avenue spending their coins on ice cream. Since the end of Ramadan, everyone seems happier and more friendly. They are happy to done fasting-at least until next year. Pictures included are: eating lunch at Hatibu's house, me admiring Hatibu's pet parrot, some of Hatibu's relatives, me and the other Kombe Sarr, and Kombe's husband.