Friday October 26 was Tobaski (or Eid al-Adha in Arabic). It is a Muslim holiday celebrated throughout Gambia by praying, slaughtering a ram, eating a lot of food, wearing new clothing, visiting friends and family and receiving/giving gifts. The day before Tobaski
According to accessgambia.com :
The occasion of Tabaski is in commemoration of Abrahams willingness to sacrifice his own son, Ismail, in the name of Allah. It coincides with the end of the annual Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca.
The day before Tobaski I spent with my Gambian family. There were no classes Thursday through the following Monday so a few of us decided to spend it with our families. Luckily my family lives in Bakau which is usually a half an hour walk from Happy Camp. Madeline, Austin and I share the same family compound, but we are in different nuclear families. Kyle came with us Thursday to hang out! On Thursday Madeleine and I helped my sister Adama cook benachin (tomatoe and spices based sauce), while Austin and Kyle helped Austin's mom cook domado (which is a peanut-based sauce, yummy!) because we're all curious about how to make Gambian dishes.
|Here is Adama in our cooking station. A pot over a fire in a little area with a roof so it gets super smokey!|
|I helped pound together some spices! It's one of my favorite things to do to help out. Obviously I enjoy it a lot..|
|I helped clean the dishes too! It was a hot day and Adama put me to work, but it was such a great bonding experience.|
|This is the finished product. It's called fish benachin. Its rice cooked with a lot of spices and tomato paste topped with fried fish and vegetables. They eat out of community bowls so that's what is shown here. It was very tasty!|
|Here is my papa hard at work. Everyone in the compound was doing something to prepare for Tobaski.|
|This is Mariyama, she is so sassy. She looks very angry in this picture but she's actually a very friendly girl who always gives Madeleine and I hugs when we come to visit.|
|Some of my many cousins! I don't know all of their names cause there are so many kids, but I know the boys name is Ablie.|
|Kumba and a week day old baby. Children of any age can hold and take care of babies. Even if the baby is only a week old...|
|The kids love getting their picture taken!|
Needless to say I love my family! The kids can get a little tiring, but then I just go hang out with Adama and other people who are closer to my age. Everyone is so friendly and they really make me feel like I'm a part of the family.
Now we're onto actual Tobaski day! I spent Friday with my family as well (along with Austin and Madeleine of course plus our friend from Canada, Brett, who knows my Gambian father) it was a lot of fun.
|My cousin did my hair in braids! My scalp is so white haha I just wanted a few, I didn't get my whole head done. I want to get my hair braided again, but I'm not sure if I'd ever get my whole head done! We'll see..|
|Yup that is a bowl full of bloody ram meat that I helped clean... So much fun!|