This year Tabaski fell on October 26th, and it was the first time I haven't been with my host family for a major Senegalese holiday. I wanted to make it back to my village in time for the celebrations, but between the trial in Tamba, working with peacecare, and a tenacious-and-unbelievably-itchy fungal infection on my legs, it just wasn't in the cards.
With everyone else back at site for Tabaski in their villages, Marielle and I were the only volunteers left at the Regional House - it was a little like being the only kids left in the dorms over Thanksgiving Break - and we made the most of it.
We were joined by Casey, a Mali RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) here to make a documentray about West African music, and the three of us had a really pleasant time. (Having a few extra days to hang out in running shorts and shower twice a day really helped with the rash recovery, too.) We cooked super-fancy little eggplant pizzas (thanks Meghan!), baked amazingly delicious pumpkin spice cupcakes with caramel frosting (thanks Marielle's mom and Ashleigh!), called to greet our friends and host relatives, watched new New Girl episodes (thanks internet!) and laughed about Senegal's recent American Idol-style sheep competition (thanks, Sally!).
It wasn't a traditional Senegalese Tabaski (no sacrificial ram, no shiny new clothes) but it was quite delicious and I wouldn't have traded it for all the mutton in town.