Monday, November 30, 2009


So long, farewell, dear holiday week of relaxation and fun. It was nice to know you. heh.

We had a great time here at chez sula. DH's cousin flew in on Tuesday afternoon to spend T-day with us. He is the only member of DH's family who was able to come to our wedding, and it was great to see him again. Since he lives in the States and not in Africa, he's able to come over here from time to time. We celebrated DH's birthday that evening with homemade pizza and homemade cheesecake (thank you KitchenAid stand mixer!). I decided it was high time we had a GPS unit, so that's what I gave DH as a present. Big success. oh yes, good decision on my part. He loves it. (and so do I, heh).

We spent T-day dinner down the street at a friend's house. I brought some of the food items, she supplied the turkey and other dishes. Some other students from DH's home country also came as well as the mother of one of them (she's visiting this week). So we had a roomful of Africans and a couple Americans and much food and fun was had by all.

After stuffing ourselves silly, we grooved to Michael Jackson tunes and attempted the gingersnap pumpkin pecan pie that I had made (note to self, tinker with pumpkin filling a bit next time around...did not set up well.)

While this all seems like a good time, it got even better the next day. No, we didn't brave the Black Friday hordes. We celebrated Tabaski (otherwise known as Eid Al Adha), the biggest Muslim holiday of the year in DH's country...essentially equivalent in importance as Christmas is here. Back in Africa, one would have purchased a sheep a few weeks ago and kept it in the courtyard to feed and fatten. On the big day, it will be sacrificed and loads of roast meat will be given to the poor and of course, eaten by everyone in the family. Then people visit their friends and family and wish them well, giving them lots of blessings and benedictions for the year to come. Basically, the point is to eat a lot of roast meat and hang out with friends. Which is exactly what we did. Not that we got to kill our own sheep, but we did buy a load of lamb chops and ten pounds of beef from Costco. After marinating and grilling, we gathered and partied African style for several hours. Everyone was speaking Bambara (DH's native language) with some French and a bit of English here and there to help out our Sierra Leonnian friend who is was like being back in Africa. Good times! :)

Saturday morning saw us up at 5am to bring DH's cousin back to the airport. Our new GPS system proved it's worth as we used it to find another location in the Northern VA/DC metro area after dropping him off. I could get used to this little thing! It was nice to have a weekend to recover from the holidays. I actually don't feel too bad about going back to work this morning. Rather, I feel pretty refreshed and ready to hit it full steam to push through till Christmas.

Hope everyone had an equally festive week and best wishes to you all. In Malian style, here are some Tabaski blessings to send you out...

Aw sambe sambe!
Fa tigiala!
Ba tigiala!
Denw tigiala!
Ala ka san were yiran na!