After spending some time in Africa it doesn’t matter what it is, but the mere fact of being in Africa makes everything just a little strange. Take for example my dinner last night. I sat down for a meal with my host family, hung out for a little, and then watched some TV before heading back to my place to retire for the night. It sounds harmless enough. But here in Africa, yesterday was the second day of celebration for the feast of Ramadan. So my host mom prepared all this awesome food for dinner which included cucumber salad, beef skewers (first time beef tasted good in Mali), and fries. It was great. I also happened to bring over some music so after dinner the kids Malim and Mary started dancing. One of the songs I played was this song from the second season of “Flight of the Conchords” called “Too Many Dicks (on the dance floor)” so there I am sitting in the dark outside completely stuffed from a great meal watching a couple of kindergardeners performing all these weird dance moves. They also happened to love “Around the World” by Daft Punk. Malim is four years old and he’s my host dad’s nephew. He has this weird dance move where he just crabwalks back and forth.
What a weird kid….He cries….a lot. When I first met him I would pat him on the back and he would start crying. I think it’s hard for him because his dad’s not around. He, his mom, and his little brother live with my host dad and his family. He’s also super dirty and usually runs around half naked (I can’t believe how much this kid hates wearing pants). I try not touching his hands or letting him touch me because chances are his hands are filthy so if I grab him I’ll usually grab his wrists. I’ve tried playing with him but most of the stuff that other kids love (swinging kids around, twirling around holding onto their hands, holding them upside down, general rough housing) only makes him cry. It kind of reminds me of growing up with my brother Danny and how I used to make him cry, except this time I wasn’t trying (ok, maybe not all the time but the lil bastard can sometimes be really annoying). My host mom’s daughter, Mary, is a little cooler. She doesn’t cry nearly as much but she’s kind of spoiled. I have a feeling her little sister Sarah is going to be spoiled even more. They call her “Princess.” So me and Mary are cool most of the time except for when she tries scratching me which is becoming more and more frequent. It’s nothing I can’t deal with. As for Sarah, I’m pretty sure I’m the first Asian person she’s seen in her entire life so she’s afraid of me like no other. Every time I try to pick her up she just starts crying and reaches for her mom. I’ve actually noticed that reaction a lot more here as opposed to my homestay village. I guess they were prepared for me back in Kobalakoro whereas I just asked my current host family to be my host family when I arrived here. Then again, I don’t remember having that reaction with Seku, the most adorable kid in the world. Anyway I’m adjusting to life here slowly, but surely. I had a chance to get to meet some other families around here so hopefully I’ll be able to hang out there soon enough too and give me a break from these lil troublemakers.