Friday, June 23, 2006

Mon dernier plat du ceeb

In a world I'd only slipped into here and there during my stay in Senegal, I'd suddenly became apart of it, even if only for a few moments on a Sunday afternoon, it was my glimpse at the life of a Senegalese woman. With the help of the women in my family -- my host sisters, Lala and Matou, maman and the maid Khady -- I prepared my first plate of ceebujen. There are many dishes in Senegal, but ceebujen (fish and rice and oh so much more) is the main one that comes to mind and considered the national plat. Every student who comes through Senegal eats their fair share -- and some of us have come to love it while others are content to never eat it again. It's definitely become my soul food and I'll miss it when I'm gone.

Someday I'll write an ode to ceebujen, but today I'm too emotional as is thinking of leaving Senegal. I fly late tonight, early this morning. My family here is planning my send off and my family at home is awaiting my arrival, it's the 17 hours in between, switching between the two worlds, doing it alone, I haven't been alone since I left for Senegal. And now somewhere between these two continents I will be forever stretched no matter
à quelle côté. That's my pleasure and my burden, it just doesn't make the comings and goings very easy.

Senegal has seeped into every part of my life it's hard to know how to unweave it, how to extract myself, and come home. I see myself at home with my family, having coffee with friends, reveling in the conveniences of America and not being stared at, eating burritos and ice cream and sushi. All this I see and taste and feel, yet it still all feels unreal that in a matter of eight hours I can quitte Dakar, the doors will open, and I can be in
America -- taf-taf.


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