Monday, February 4, 2008

rituals, protocol, drums and sleep

they’re still drumming in the salon down the hall. it’s 10:15pm on Sunday night. didn’t get any studying done this weekend. or laundry. no excuse but things have been a little hectic around the compound this weekend. we buried Yoyo yesterday. the rituals never seem to end. feel bad for Das and the family. it’ll be a week total that they mourn and keep accepting visitors.

today Madame Susan shaved her head. Das and the rest of the family (don’t know who exactly) will also be shaving soon. all this is also taking place over at Tonya’s place, too. her host-father (Francois’ dad) passed away the night before last. PC’s been making a lot of visits to both our homes. the CD will be here tomorrow and i expect he’ll be at Francois’ place... not sure about here, though.

Tonya was saying that she doesn’t know why people seem so worried about her mental or emotional state. i feel the same way. i’m especially vexed when they (PC staff) express their condolences to me in front of my host-family... especially because they’ve neglected to pay a family member present the same respect on 2 occasions. alas... it seems we make up a lot of the protocol as we go along here.

the family’s been very patient with me in that respect. only one major faux pas on my part so far... attempting to sit in Das’ stool (a traditional chair reserved for the man of the house) twice!! ...that got a few laughs from everyone in the room :)

i’ve been debating whether to talk about this whole mourning/funeral experience for my 5-10 minute peer-teaching topic on Tuesday. so much observed and so much to say, but so many gaps in my comprehension.

and on maybe the only positively productive note for this weekend, i wrote a letter to Omar and finished mama’s letter. Omar’s is all about the smells here. i think he’ll enjoy it. so many people to write to... the drumming is starting again. it puts me to sleep nicely. no bad dreams thus far.

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