Asalam malekum, I probably didn’t spell it right but it means, “peace be upon you and upon you be peace”. There are a lot of pains made here to ensure ones individual peace and many questions in Wolof are answered smilingly with the phrase “Jamm Rekk” – peace only. I have never felt more welcomed in a foreign place than I do by all the people here. While walking home from my language and cultures classes I am often invited to sit with groups of reclining, smiling tea drinkers and attempt to inquire with my poor Wolof if they had peace.
After making friends with a Rasta baay fall named Mohammed I was invited to his house for dinner and tea and that afternoon he invited me to come to the beach with him the next day. The beach was a gorgeous island and while there he showed my friends and me where he used to live and his friend treated us all to a wonderful lunch which I struggled to eat with my hands. After lunch we went out to the ocean where his friend had built a natural pool, which rose and fell with the tides and we lay in the water splashing.
In our Senegalese culture class we learned of the cultural traits “Fida and Teranga” which are both particular to Senegal. Teranga roughly means hospitality while Fida means pride, and these two traits stoke each individual to give with pride and be a solid part of the community. Also the way people share everything and the concept of personal space being absent helps strengthen one’s moral code. Its time for French class and I would like to say thank you to everyone who is reading this…. there will be more to come.
jere jef – it was worth doing
nyo ko bokk – we share it