Every time we do any kind of work in our concession, we have spectators. One of our concession walls is not solid concrete but rather has beautifully crafted columns so that we can have a view of the Senegal River. While this wall gives us a good view, it also gives all of the neighborhood children a good view, of us.
Over the past months, we have been making an uncountable number of new friends. At first, we had a few groups of regular neighborhood boys who would bang on our door and yell out 'Oumar' or 'Fatim' until one of us came to greet them. Usually, all they wanted was a handshake and a smile. (We have created complex, multi-step handshakes with many of the neighbors, mostly Oumar's doing.) Although, there were a few who would desperately try to come into our concession (even pushing past our handshake) to take a peek into the white people's house or pick a few limes off our tree. For the most part, the neighborhood children know that they are not allowed into our concession without a verbal invitation.
Lately, the neighborhood children have become wise to the fact that our open concession wall is a better place to greet us from than the closed front door.
One day this past week, both Steve and I were sitting in our concession knocking out our laundry when one of the group's of neighborhood boys walked by. At first, they just called out our names and greeted us. Next, we went through the ritual of them asking us for mangos and us promptly telling them that the mangos on our tree were not yet ripe. (I am sure at some point they also asked us for some water, to use our bathroom, and if we have any chewing gum, all some of their favorite strategies to try to come into our concession.) Then, they decided to show Steve all of the lizards that they had recently caught, only a 25 CFA a lizard (6 cents). Steve informed them that he was good (on lizards) for the moment. It was the first time the neighborhood boys have tried to sell us anything. We had to ask them to let us take a picture.
While this picture is priceless, it may have been a mistake to break out our camera around them as today they have added 'asking us to take a picture of them' to their repertoire of demands.
3 Months Down, 9 To Go
2 years ago