Saturday, July 23, 2011

adam from up north

it's market day. i ran into Adam from Kousséri [northern Cameroonian town bordering Chad] in the market. he's the young man teaching the kids at the Omaru compound Arabic and Qur'an. he's also their imam [prayer leader] for Ramadan. nice guy, nice voice.

i broke fast and prayed taraweeh [evening prayers during Ramadan] with them last night, at the compound. really enjoyed it. a lot of food. good company. Ibrahim, Manjou, Alhadjijo, Usmanu, Haruna, Sani [the older Omaru brothers]...
hold on, there seems to be a mouse stuck somewhere in the kitchen. i'll investigate, then explain...
--OK, strange. no sign of it.
...i was saying that i enjoyed the company, food and prayers at chez Omaru. we ate in Saleh's place [another Omaru brother]. low, soft couches and carpet. very comfortable. but the mold was killing me!

there were pictures all over the wall, of Sheikh Ahmed Tijani and Sheikh Ibrahim [Niasse]. i mean all over. like wallpaper. i even got a brief bio on the latter sheikh from a couple of the guys. something about 75 years, 75 children and 75 "hadiths" [sayings of the prophet]...

i didn't get that last part, but Adam explained that they were poems or odes in praise of the prophet. Adam also talked about the tariqa [sufi path], somewhat indirectly. he's not a follower, but also not one to take issue with it. he's simply keeping quiet, which is wise. i asked him if he thought some of the local followers were being misguided by itinerant sheikhs. he said they weren't. i didn't ask any more questions.

Adam's problem is the food. it's lack of variety. which came as a surprise to me, coming from a northerner like him. but i suppose rice or fufu with sauce and some bland pap [bouillie de maïs] every day can get tired quick. he's just looking for some flavor, he said. probably also missing his family. aren't we all?

so i was saying that i ran into Adam in the market today, buying fruit. avocados, tomatoes and bananas. for a little salad and something sweet. i told him i'd give him dates if he came over to my place. he said he'd come around on saturday morning.

1 comment:

  1. IMAGE: a picture of adam and me, and an omaru family relative, during eid. the feast after ramadan, that is. adam is to my right, with his head covered like myself.