Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Two days before Tabaski

Relaxing in the heat of the day.  Outside the calm of this room was the bustle of the city - it was two days before Tabaski - the biggest holiday of the year.  Travel through the city was next to impossible, so we sat and quietly talked the afternoon away.  In the process I was introduced to many Malians and came to learn of the burning need to earn enough money to buy a goat to celebrate the holiday.  In the course of this afternoon I came to understand that a "good" goat will cost as much as 60,000cfa.  In acts of desperation people will trade their motorcycle (mottos) for a goat, even a car.  In other instances families will purchase a goat on credit and pay it off the rest of the year.  In yet other instances, families will come together and pool their resources to acquire a goat.  The message of the afternoon was clear, you are not worthy if you cannot provide a goat for your family. 

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