Friday, September 16, 2011

Postcards

These are actually photos of postcards. Everyone in Peace Corps/Senegal calls these large vans "Alhams," short for "Alhamdoulilahi," which I'm pretty sure means "Thanks to God" in Arabic. Many Senegalese people call them "Njig Njai" because a guy named Njai owns a large percentage of Senegal's large van fleet, and he had his name painted across the front of most of them. If I have other options (Sept-Place station wagons, certain buses, my bike) I usually avoid Alhams. They're slow, usually totally overcrowded, and break down a lot.
An Alham, Njig Njai, oto on, un mini-bus, etc 
There are traditional Bassari villages in my area, and Initiations happened in May. I went to part of one right before I installed in my site and took some pictures, but this one's really nice. It's an impressive event, even though I was only allowed to watch the dancing part, not the stylized fighting part.
Bassari men in Initiation masks

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