Skip to main content

Bunny Rabbit

This is the month of Ramadan. After fasting all day in heat that is now exceeding 100 degrees every day, people are ready to enjoy a little good food and special drinks in the evening. They eat treats like dates and drink special juices like lemonade. People stay up late to enjoy the extra treats and to enjoy each other's company. Children have special games they play during Ramadan.

One of their favorites is called "Tooba-tooba" which loosely translated is "The Bunny Rabbit". The kids fold up pieces of paper then tie them on strings which they tie to their bodies. They like to wear other things like a "skirt" that looks somewhat like a Hawaiian grass skirt. They put coke bottle lids in cans which they smash so that they are shut and the lids inside can't fall out. Then they run around the neighborhood together making all sorts of racket. Everybody is supposed to give them a handfull of millet or a few sugar cubes or a little bit of money. It's a lot like Halloween. How do you like Jumaasi's matching outfit? LOL!

Why "The Bunny Rabbit"? I have no idea! I'm still trying to figure it out. I've asked a few kids why they do it and they just say to get the treats. I need to spend time finding out from an adult if they know the history behind it.

Last year an adult came around with the kids. He's kind of a break dancer in a traditional African dance kind of way. He had a machete and acted like he was slicing his neck with it, turned his eyelids inside out, etc. He drew quite a crowd and was quite the entertainer. Jeremy took this photo.
The month of Ramadan is almost over and life will soon go back to normal, including quieter nights!


Dusty Penguin said…
I always thought those dancers that came around were pretty scary! It'll be interesting to hear what is behind the bunny rabbit thing. I've never seen that in The Gambia--they just dress up to go ask for candy and money.
Gypsy said…
Thats awesome!! You know, there are so many things about Africa that I never realized I would miss until I didn't live there anymore...the call to prayer "Allahu Akbar!", Ramadan (especially FEAST DAY), and little things like running outside to watch every little commotion and chasing the mean old bulls away from poor mumsy lol. Enjoy it while you can!
Dusty Penguin said…
I had a good reason to be afraid, very afraid of those cow horns!
Hannatu said…
Suzanne is afraid of them, too. Normally they just walk down the road, but every now and then they get in a rambunctious hurry. Who would think you'd miss the call to prayer, but when I'm in the US, i do miss it!
Georgene said…
Hi there!
I'm behind on your posts. I wish there was a way to sign up for your blog so I'd know when you updated. :-) Glad you arrived home safely! You were kind of in my neck of the woods. We live in California. :-) Blessings!
Carol Wilson said…
Finally caught up on your blogs. We've been praying for Suzanne, and so glad she's better. Thanks so much for all the local color. And I don't have a clue what I'd do if I were the one who's there rather than you!Love,
Anonymous said…
Fascinating Nancy! You are so so good at opening the window to your world and allowing us to peek in! Life in Niger is so different and exciting, you are better than any National Geographic!
Anonymous said…
That last one is from me I forgot to add my name..
Love, JO
Aji said…
It seems like the animism is more overt there than here. We have some of the tribal dancing, but not much and that bunny rabbit game probably has roots in ATR.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…

Happenings in November

Well, here we are, more than half way through December, and I'm just now getting around to telling you about November.  It was a fun, busy, and eventful month.  We were still on vacation and we got in a lot of good family time during the month.

We were still in Ohio with Suz and Theo at the beginning of the month.  Suz and Theo were working hard to get Hezekiah to gain weight.  He kept losing weight for the first few weeks of his life, but he's doing great now.  We tried to spend as much time as possible with Tera so Suzanne could concentrate on adjusting to the new baby ... but mostly just because we wanted to and we enjoy her so much.  

We also tried to get in as many baby snuggles as we could.

Whenever we are in the area, my dad's cousin, Jeanne, invites us for a meal. She is actually closer to me in age than to my dad, so I've always just considered her a cousin and don't try to figure out if she's a second cousin or a first cousin once removed.  Whatever the …