Heather in Senegal

Saturday, October 27, 2007

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When I go to weddings parties I try to get in with the women who are cooking. It's fun to peel vegetables and make juice with them. I especially enjoy the juice making. It usually falls to the younger women to do it, and when it's a wedding in my neighborhood, this means it's my friends. Someone once advised me to not watch when people cook, because whether or not I see how it's made, I am going to have to eat. The juice methods are a bit disconcerting. The juice is made in giant buckets. The fruit or the leaf that is the base is dropped in the water, and then while talking and coughing, the women use their hands to squeeze out the juice. Then sugar and other flavorings are added, and the mixture is stirred with a big ladle. We take turns tasting from the ladle. When the juice is prepared, the plastic bags come out. The first phase of making the juice doesn't involve many women. We might all be there, but only a few people are actually working. The bagging, however, is an efficient assembly line. Two women per bucket ladle a certain amount of juice into each bag before passing the bags to the rest of us who are waiting to tie the bags, using a very particular type of wrap-and-knot. A third team takes the bags, wipes them off if need be, and piles them in an empty bucket. By the end of the process we are all sticky and giddy from sugar intake.


At 10:04 AM, Blogger Justin M. Land said...

You should try a juice fight, I hear they like that kind of thing in Kolda. You never cease to amaze me.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Ellia said...

Or a cake fight, how about a cake fight? Those go over really well too.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Actually, the most fun are frog fights. Ordinarily I wouldn't toss animals, but you should see the way the kids react. Something about the idea of people who turn themselves into frogs having big teeth makes these kids squeal and run at the sight of a flying amphibian.


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