Tabaski

Nyles Davidheiser - Senegal


February 13, 2017

TABASKI- The day Abraham was willing to sacrifice his one and only son by his wife Sarah, in respect to an order given by GOD. Just when he is about to do this act, the voice of GOD began speaking to him, and further granting him a sheep for killing. It was originally asked of by GOD to see if Abraham had FAITH.

I’m  witnessing four sheep being slaughtered, each one at a time. It’s a bloody scene. Heads scattered, guts laying, bodies hanging, and family working.

Host Brother Mohamed- “Moustapha can you unlock your room door so I can grab something?”

Following after Mohamed entering my room, he said “lift the mattress and grab THAT.”

“THAT” being two objects, a large machete and secondly a mysterious looking pole which turned into a sharp knife.

Fresh out the shower, head on swivel I’m just watching everything, trying rather not to look too surprised. The men look as if they are killing the sheep so calm but contradicting that thought are their fierce blows.

MOUSTAPHA!!! My stagnant stance has now been interrupted, the Uncle “Jokko yapp la grandmére” who is now beginning to cut up the ribs.

My HOST BROTHER HARAM is cleaning the intestines, and has just accidentally squirted undigested insides all over my clothes.

While this was all happening two children, Moustapha and Bassirou (relatives) are on the other side of the room playing with the head of a sheep.

The Grandmother is very happy and keeps saying Moustapha! Moustapha! Moustapaha! just like every other morning when wakening me for school.

The Host Mother and Aunts are cutting up all the vegetables. Suddenly I hear the women say “WAAAH!!!” and the children with smirks on their face because the Uncle has just slipped and fallen carrying the bucket full of undigested sheep food.

Now the scene is messy, evidence everywhere- clothes, floor, walls, blood, knives, etc…

now officially helping & bloody- I have a machete in my hand, severing & separating the meat.

Only been here for less than a month, and the fellows and I wonder about the lifestyle and thoughts of the sheep, when watching the herdsman direct 50-100 of them through the streets.

The last sheep is now being slaughtered and I’m recording.

We are finished, the Grandmother is cutting up cooked meat with her raw bloody meat hands offering me some.

YES I’M EATING IT

Two children enter the house with bags and their hands extended patiently waiting, the Grandmother hands them both a nice amount of raw meat.

TABASKI Morning is now complete, I am taking my second shower and preparing for a day full of social interactions with a bit of language barrier confusion.

 *** Tabaski is a very important celebrated Holiday. The people of Senegal ?? on this day dress up in colorful fancy clothing and walk around to many houses offering donations of food, mainly raw meat. They even show presence to the Christian Families who in return show similar favor during the Easter Holiday.

Nyles Davidheiser