I know, its amazing, two days in a row, but I had to blog about my host grandma's return to the homestead. She had been gone for over a month because her room in our compound was being refurbished, actually overhauled is more like it. They actually litterally raised the roof, maybe the logic is that the hot air will be kept up in the top of the room, the roof is still tin so its still not going to be pleasant in there. So, grandma had been staying in a village where she has some family for the time being, which, I heard she really didn't like. Village life takes some getting used to. Anyway, when I returned from my little trip yesterday she was there and very excited to see me, now excited when one is 100 years old is quite a spectacle to behold. Now if she was excited to see me, when my host sister came in she was moved to tears. It was quite touching even though Maguette was laughing at her. Grandma brought a big bag of mint candies for everyone as a sariche (the gift you bring home after you've traveled) and was passing them out to everyone. Things really didn't seem the same without her down in the courtyard to greet me in the morning so I'm glad the she is back.
Edited 6/24/06 to add: I forgot to mention, because it didn't cross my mind before I saw her back in action, but my host grandma acts also as the gardian of my stairs and keeps the neighborhood kids in line. She often sits at the bottom of the stairs that lead to my room and keeps kids from running up the stairs to my room. This is usually quite a funny site because she is often praying, what else is a 100 year old Senegalese woman going to do all day? And when she's praying, counting the names of Allah, she is forbidden to speak. Some how that has been translated as it's ok to grunt, acknowledge, swipe at kids with a cane, as long as you don't actually pronounce words. So with the paryer beads in one hand she takes a full force swipe
at any kid approaching my steps with the cane in her other hand. Really quite amusing. She also fancies attempting to hit kids with her cane when she's sitting with them outside the house. The kids usually laugh and run away, I guess its all in good fun, for everyone involved.
Since I couldn't find a picture of my host grandma, and since I just figured out how to add pictures to the blogs, here is a picture of some cute kids, hanging out on the palm tree.