Life moves a little slower out in the Senegalese village of Ethiolo. The general pace lulls some visitors into thinking that not a lot goes on in these parts, aside from tea drinking and long conversations. But I’m learning that although life here moves slower, it moves constantly.
All day people work out in their fields, prepare meals, carry water, repair huts, walk to the market, visit sick neighbors and more. ‘Work time’ and ‘personal time’ flow seamlessly together in days full of activity, from sunup to sundown. But these activities aren’t exactly optional—many Bassari families in Ethiolo depend on the food they farm to survive, and their community structure is built on relationships that are nurtured by lingering visits between neighbors.
I’m not sure if I’d cut it as a Bassari. But luckily, my friend Tatiana and her host family are helping me learn the ropes.
Have a look at some of the day-to-day happenings of village life.
This is the first part of a two-part culture guide. To read Part II, click here.
About the Author: Laura is a journalism fellow with World Next Door. She graduated from the University of Arizona, Tucson with a degree in Animal Sciences and a minor in Spanish. She is constantly learning, making friends, dancing, and trying to understand her role in alleviating the suffering of others. Laura also attracts a lot of awkward situations.