Bassari Village Stay
Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
35Trip End Dec 15, 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Ruby and I were greeted by our Bassari father, Tama, and our brother, Noel (Noel = Christmas and he was born on Christmas... they're not very creative with names). Ruby and I were taken immediately to our room (or hut, if you will) to lay down our bags on our beds of straw. We returned to "la maison" or "the house" which consisted of a lean-to constructed entirely with bamboo, a small cooking area, and mats laid out on the ground
After "showers" and dinner, Ruby and I sat and talked to our Bassari father. Tama told us stories about the history of the Bassari and some traditional fables of the Bassari. We drank palm wine recently collected from the palm trees beyond the peanut fields. We chewed on sugar cane freshly cut from the garden next to our home. We ate roasted peanuts that were collected that very morning. We waited until the moon fell behind the mountain of Iwol before we walked up the rocky trail to our hut. The next day, after taking another bucket bath and enjoying some great "tappalappa" bread (really, it's delicious), Tama informed us that we would be having rabbit for lunch that he caught while hunting after we went to bed the night before. The rabbit still had some hair on it, but it was good nonetheless.
The following days passed similarly, and Ruby and I definitely enjoyed our time with our calm, peaceful, kind Bassari family. We were entertained by our little brothers and sister, or perhaps it was Ruby and I who were the entertainment. We wrote in our field journals and we created lovely sketches of bissap plants and Bassari huts with charcoal from the ground. We drank tea with our brother and his friends while they played cards. We went out to a CLUB... yes, clubs exist even in villages... and we danced the night away with our brother and another SIT student, Marian. We went to a very interesting Catholic mass with an amazing choir and women wearing beautiful Senegalese boubous. All of this was incredible, but nothing tops the memory of sitting on a hill in a peanut field behind our village, watching the sunset, and playing catch with a cob of corn with my Bassari brothers. When we left after our four days, Ruby and I both felt like we would start crying, and we will both surely miss our Bassari family.