04 June 2012

i bora i ka so, i nana i ka so

tbalconyjune4tonight you ended your day with your favorite activity: on the couch, in front of your favorite balcony view.

however, last night’s view was better.

tbalcony01because your balcony was filled with people.

tbalcony02as great as sunsets are, nothing tops a balcony filled people you like.

all the photos of this night are not by you. they’re by whoever happened to be holding your camera.

tbalcony04which you aren’t sure who because you were too busy in the kitchen to be paying attention to the photographers.

tbalcony03or you were in the living room splitting up equal amounts of millet grains into cups filled with fermented milk, creme fraiche, sugar, fromage blanc, and vanilla seeds in an attempt recreate a malian dessert called dɛgɛ.

tbalcony05it’s nice when people take your camera because you sometimes forget what you look like.

tbalcony06but the best part is later, when everyone is gone, and you get to see how your friends saw that evening.

it’s a nice change to see other’s perspectives in your camera.

and it’s always fun to see what surprises people like to leave as well.

tmalimusokaso03the next day (which would be today), you left home and you came home.

they are and aren’t the same place. a different place.

tmalimusokaso05this apartment with malian videotapes isn’t your home. but at the same time, it is your home.

because in mali, one often says to guests:

i bora i ka so, i nana i ka so.

you’ve left your home, you’ve arrived at your home.

it’s the first thing you were greeted with on the first day when you arrived in mali last year. “you all have left home (the USA) but you all have arrived home (mali)”

it’s a phrase that comforts you.

you left home (texas) to arrive home (bamako) to leave home again (sokourani) to arrive home (paris).

it’s a process that will repeat until who knows when. you, just like all your friends, are curious to see where you will go in just a few months.

the only thing you can tell them is, home. because everywhere you go, you’re able to make it home thanks to friends you already have and new friends you make.

tmalimusokaso01and here you are, in paris, watching malian television.

don’t ever think that bambara is a useless language. because it is not. how else can you be adopted by malians abroad within minutes?

a few words of bambara to a complete stranger – a hello, a greeting, a joke, a blessing, and you are instantly part of their family. you are instantly taken care of. you are instantly home.

tmalimusokaso02you are also instantly fed.

tiga dɛgɛ na, furanto, malo, jaba, gɔyɔ, koko, michi sɔgɔ, jɛgɛ sɔgɔ the moment you taste a malian women’s cooking you completely forget you’re in france.

a ka di de kosɛbɛ! (it’s very delicious!) is all you can say between bites of rice and peanut sauce.

tmalimusokaso06i b’a fɛ ka tee min? you would like to drink some tea?

your bambara improves a bit as you learn that nanaye means mint. your village didn’t put mint in their tea so you never learned that word.

tmalimusokaso07okay, so there are a few modifications for the tea brewing process. the tea barada (kettle) is fancier, and there isn’t any coal to be found or fanning to be done.

tmalimusokaso04but it’s still the same. the same two glasses. the same pouring back and forth. the same insane amounts of sugar. the same same loud slurping of satisfaction. the same multiple brews.

i ni ce kosɛbɛ! (thank you very much) is how you end your malian lunch.

tizacakethen you left home (parisian malian), did some babysitting, and came home (your apartment) to have a slice of cake.

specifically, chocolate cake that your favorite spaniard baked for the dinner party last night but was sadly forgotten about. oops! sorry. but you promise it will still be enjoyed – just by less people.

unless it somehow remains uneaten until the next dinner party – which is unlikely.


donna said...

it will be interesting to see where you will land again.....

priscilav said...

Doubt the chocolate cake will be uneaten ;)

Maria RiRi Duchess Bagone said...
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