Just had a super amazing day! Yesterday one of my neighbors told me to come over today so she could do henna on my hands. Henna is a dye they use on their skin to color their nails and paint beautiful designs on their hands, arms and feet. It's usually orange or black. Mine is so orange it's almost brown. Anyway, this neighbor family is so wonderful. The mom's name is Sadiya and she has 4 beautiful and I mean gorgeous daughters. The oldest is married and has two little ones and she comes and spends every Saturday with her mom and sisters. The youngest is about 16. They're always very kind and generous to me. I can't believe how accepting they are of me as a foreigner and with my broken Arabic!
Today we were talking about university and I was asking each of them what they had studied and then they asked me what I had studied. When I said English teaching, they jumped at me right away and asked if I'd help them with their English. I would love to start a little conversation class with them every saturday during the boys' rest time. They live right across the street so they're easy to get to.
Another interesting thing Sadiya tried on me was some sort of hair removal on my arms! Apparently all married women remove the hair on their arms and legs using a concoction of sugar, lemon and water cooked on the stove until it's a sticky consistency like tree sap. They then repeatedly stick it on a hairy spot and yank it off to remove the hair. They were laughing at me as I yelped the first time she yanked it off! So that visit today was a highlight.
Then this afternoon we were invited to go to someone's house who lives in Omdurman which is like the "twin" city across the Nile River. It was only a 30 min drive but full of culture and many sights to see along the way. We had a lovely visit and ate TONS of food. The boys did remarkably well trying the different meats and soups. I was so proud of them. After the meal the boys played with their cars outside and the women invited me into their bedroom and did a little perfume ceremony with me. I'd done something like it in Yabus, but this was even more involved. They basically rubbed and massaged oils and perfumes into my arms, neck, face and ears! After I was smelling very strongly, they then added real perfume from a bottle!!!! I wreaked! But in a good way I guess because the women seemed very pleased with their finished product.
We are learning so much and having incredible adventures every day. It seems like each day is so full of learning experiences but we're loving it! Tomorrow morning the boys go off to school for the new week and my teammate Heather and I are going to visit a friend of hers from South Sudan. Never a dull moment. :)