An Act Of Love

Isabel Clarkin - Senegal


May 21, 2019

An act of kindness in a time where I was feeling really low was when my host father taught me how to make his attaya (tea). The day before, I had just lost something very important to me; something that I had really defined my year for me up to that point. And one of the most valuable things I ended up learning this year is that people express their love to you in different ways. As simple as it sounds I hadn't really opened my eyes to all of the special/individualistic ways people can show you they love you, or that they want to help. This came up in the actions of several people I knew and loved throughout the year, my host father teaching me how to make and pour attaya being one. I really value these instructions that he taught me, because it was his way of showing me that he cares about me.


How to make my host father’s (Papa Adama’s) attaya:

  • 3-4 attaya cups-worth of water in teapot

  • Heat up water for 3-4 mins (gas stove)

  • Add ½ cup of tea- Ada used jasmine. Let it sit.

  • Add one attaya cup of sugar. Let it sit and boil.

  • Pour 2 cups, full. Slowly and from high up. Afterwards, pour both cups back into the teapot. Turn gas down low.

  • Do the classic pouring, fill one glass, add a little extra regular room-temperature water. High pours between the glasses, leave a little in one to create foam.

  • Pour tea back in when you have foam, pour tea

2nd time →→→ water, less tea, but same amount of sugar.


Isabel Clarkin