As we walked home down the dirt path with our chickens, she could not understand why I kept giggling.
I’m hiding out in my room, the mosquito net still up from this morning. My floor is clean, after a long time, my family must feel like. This evening, Urielle, who just turned eight, asked me, “Tata Tara, why don’t you wash your floor?” I asked her how many times should I wash my floor per week? “Per week!?” She said, surprised. “We wash the floor every day.” It became one of those moments in which I feel young. So young in the presence of an eight-year-old and her seven-year-old sister that are fighting over who gets to ring out the cloth before washing the floor. So young in a house that is cleaned daily by a nineteen-year-old domestique… who once wiped off an outside chair before I sat down to peel garlic. I was trying to fit in. And much younger among every strong, hard-working African woman that knows how to prepare every meal, down to buying the live chicken.
Yes, I went with Maman Merineau to buy a chicken last week. Well, what I thought she said was one chicken. At her friend’s house, she stuffed two into a plastic sac and gave it to me. She filled another sac and carried the remaining chicken in her free hand. As we walked home down the dirt path with our chickens, she could not understand why I kept giggling. This is the safest way, to buy and kill the chicken yourself, she told me.
I don’t know that I will really fit in, but I will try. I had some clothes made with the pagne that I bought in Baffoussam. A cute dress, a skirt and top that fit me perfectly.