Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, was observed in Senegal on June 18 and recently ended on July 17. During Ramadan, we break fast before dawn with bread, dates and tea then abstain from eating or drinking anything until sunset. This is a very difficult month for everyone, but especially for manual laborers who must work outside during what is arguably the hottest month of the year. Farmers must plow and plant their fields, masons are scrambling to finish houses before the heavy rains, taxi drivers have long journeys ahead of them, and not an air conditioned office in sight. The fasting lasts for a month, beginning and ending with the slivered crescent of new moon. On July 17th, the entire village gazed west into the rose-blush dusk, searching for the first sight of the slight pale finger-nail of a moon. The following day was Korite, a day of pure, unadulterated feasting. Groups of young men dressed in their finest bou-bous, led the tour de Ndorong, visiting each family asking forgiveness and sampling their cuisine, typically macaroni or cous-cous served with onion sauce and goat meat. This Korite, our family cooked roast duck with vermicelli, onions and potatoes. After stuffing ourselves silly and reveling in the fact that we can drink water again, the village silently agreed to a mass siesta. Below are a few pictures of the celebration.
Farmer use horses, donkeys, and cattle to plow their fields after the rain. Farmers plant millet before the rain and peanuts and corn after the first heavy rain. Thus far, the rains have been promising.