We survived! We more than survived! Life was so relaxing and they made us so comfortable in their home. The 3 of us shared a room at the end of a short hall, which had a queen sized mattress on the ground and a mosquito net hanging above it. A mosquito net! I've been here for almost 2 months and that was my first mosquito net.
When we arrived, Awa greeted us with a big smile and open arms. Yeneyela took us for une promenade through town. We stopped and greeted at so many houses along the way, and my french slowly deteriorated the more houses we visited. Brobo is spread out and village-like compared to Bouake. Yeneyela and Marius (a close family friend and former student) showed us that almost every house was in some stage of preparing atteche- which is a staple food in Cote d'Ivoire made from manioc. When we returned (2 1/2 hours later!) Awa had a snack ready for us: aloco (fried plantains) and an omelet! Then I occupied Solomon for awhile, cut onions and tomatoes, made passion fruit juice, and experienced bathing from a bucket!
Bathrooms here are not about comfort, which- I think- is a high priority in the States. At home, you relax in the bathroom- here it's all utilitarian, it's strickly necessity. The bathroom was inside, which I was thankful for. Many courtyards we've seen, there are rooms outside with a hole in the ground. There was even a toilet- it didn't flush, but it was a toilet!
Dinner: AGOUTI! We ate rat- a giant rat with onions and tomatoes and noodles! I tried to get away with taking a small piece of the meat, but Awa just put another larger peice on my plate! It wasn't too bad in all actuality... just had a funny after taste. After dinner, we all sat and watched a John Wayne film dubbed over in French- it was wonderful!
The next day was filled with more visiting- including a lengthy stop at the village Chief's courtyard. The chief was a woman! I was shocked- totally counter cultural! She had a very "official" demeanor toward us. She gave us all Baoule names- Kati, Holly and I were all given the name Affoue, which means "saturday". Yep, we were named after the day of the week. I am quickly becoming a woman of many names. In Baoule: Affoue; in Dyula: Sarata; and to the French speakers, I'm still Naomi (but pronounced now-me). Culturally speaking, I feel so honored to be given a traditional name- they are sharing a familiarity with me. Sometimes, though, I look forward to phone calls from my parents and my name not sounding weird.
|The Chief and the 3 Affoue's|
|Kati pounding palm nuts|
Rod took us home after the service, back to our walled in village, back to pancake and scrambles eggs for Sunday lunch, back to our little America. It's difficult finding a balance. I loved living with the Yeos for a weekend, I loved experiencing life with them. BUT I was tired! We all were. It was nice to be back in our own rooms and free to speak english with eachother. It was nice to be comfortable. However, I'm learning that God needs to be my comfort zone, not speaking english, or my own bed sheets, or baked potatoes for dinner, or pictures from home. All those things are able to be lost, but God is not. He is the steady, constant, perfect thing.
There are mare thoughts that follow this, but should be saved for another day, since I've apparently started writing a novel. So this is to be continued...