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Times of Day

The sun creeps into my hut through the cracks in the door. I can hear the faint sound of the morning news coming from my family’s radio. The sing-songy Pulaar is quickly interrupted by the crow of a rooster, signaling that it is time to wake up. My older sister, Fatimata Seydi, greets me with “Tana Finaani?” and a bucket with water for my morning shower. This water is greatly appreciated and I respond to her good morning with, “jam tan”, or peace only.

Cream-colored coffee is poured from one cup to another to cool it down, a practice I want to bring back with me to America. The village is alive with trips to the well, donkey carts heading to the peanut fields, and the morning greetings of neighbors back and forth. I watch my inordo (namesake in Pulaar) Bintu Diabi and my other sibling Bocari toss a ball back and forth. My other brother Demba has already left for school. When his studies are finished he will go to the fields and bake bread with his father. His persistence and hard work inspires me each day I spend in Temento Samba.

The evening is my other favorite time of day. My sister prepares letcherie jambo- millet covered in a sauce made from peanuts and leaves- over a roaring fire and my siblings break out their puffy winter coats. We have experienced different types of cold and seeing their coats when I feel barely a chill in the air makes me smile. We spend the rest of the night eating cooked sweet potatoes under the stars. My siblings will point to the stars and say “kode e Pulaar” and I will repeat “kode” with a smile and a nod.