When we first arrived to greet Malick, it was about noon. He introduced us to the owner of the house (former ambassador to France) and the owner’s wife, then to the other workers. The staff includes two cooks, two maids, two chauffeurs and Malick, the gardener. (There’s also a nightguard.)
When we met Yacine, one of the cooks, she asked us to stay for lunch. We happily agreed. She asked again if we would stay for lunch. Yes, we said. You’ll stay here until we eat, she verified. Again, yes.
You see, making lunch takes several hours. So she wanted to be sure we would be sticking around before including us in the general head count for the meal.
Oh my goodness. Lunch was so good. It was at about 4pm, but who cares? So, so good. Small grains of broken rice slowly cooked in fish and vegetable broth, smoked fish and fresh fish stuffed with garlic and parsley, carrots, potatoes, onions, cabbage, eggplant… lots of hot pepper. So, so good.
Nabu, Aicha, Mariama and Roxaya: I ate a spoonful for each of you!