Her nephew came to pick me up this afternoon for the big event, yet strapped into the adult-sized seatbelt in the front seat was Kankou's little 18 month old girl Fatu. Before I even made it to the car, she was wailing at the sight of me. Baby girl had not been exposed to many TUBABOU/"blanches." The nephew picked her up to bring her to the backseat, and she calmed down considerably, but once she was strapped in back with me within full view in the front, she would not stop bawling. I gave up and traded seats with her, allowing this tiny fraction of a person to sit in the front seat. After all, so many babies and infants are squeezed freely inbetween drivers and passengers on motorcycles everyday here in Bamako! Mon Dieu.
Fatu still fighting to get away from me after the car ride, and can't bear to look at me for the group picture!
At Kankou's mansion of a house, she made a special meal for me which included 2 whole river fish in their skins. She looked disappointed when I passed on #2, and even more distraught when I told her I didn't care to eat the head of the first. The best part came after the fish endeavor: the exotic juices. While the "bissap"/hibiscus juice was delicious, the "pain du singe" = monkey's bread/baobab tree fruit juice was amazing. I've found a new love.
Thankfully, it is custom to "faire un repose"/take a nap after lunch, so I rested up and let my belly go back down before the big fitting.
It took me close to an hour to pick out just two materials I wanted, then another hour to sift through stacks of photo albums at the tailor's to decide on the designs. The tailor's husband then comes in for the big test -- the measurements. Thank goodness they're in centimeters and I can't really gauge what they mean!
All was fine going from the neck to the shoulders to the arm circumference to the chest to the waist to the hips and butt to the...and then there's some snickering beside me. I turn to them, "grosse fesse, n'est pas?"/"big booty, huh?" and then Kankou starts busting out laughing, "c'est exactement ce qu'elle a dit! Quelle grosse fesse pour une blanche!"/"that's exactly what she just said! What a big butt (but in slang) you have for a white girl!"
Well at least I got my butt some new clothes!