Hi there! It’s been a while. How have you been?
I’m almost done with my exams, I have just three papers to go. I can’t wait to be done, and come back here fully.
Yesterday was my birthday! Yes, the short black girl is growing. 🙂
I had a really nice birthday, and I just wanted to share it. Here are some pictures, and other details.
THE DAY BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY
I went to the library to revise for my exam, which was to be on my birthday. (Nice birthday gift, eh?) 😉 I wanted to do something special for myself on my birthday, and after much thought, I’d decided to have my hands decorated with henna. I had made arrangements to go to my coursemate, Nene’s house to have it done by her sister. By the way, Nene is a beautiful Fulani girl whose henna I’d admired two weeks before.
We left the library in the evening, and got to her house, soaked from the rain. When we got to her place, I was surprised to see a big house. We entered the house, and she said “Salam aleykum.” Her parents were seated in the living room. I was immediately shy. I had thought that, like me, she had rented a room off campus. I did not know she was living with her family. I said good evening to her parents, and other people in the living room, and they welcomed me. Nene then took me inside into her room.
I felt odd at first. It was a very “Northern” house. Everyone spoke rapid Fulfude, even the toddlers. The boys came to Nene’s room one by one, knocked on the door, and came in to greet me. Before entering the room, they would say, “Salam aleykum” to notify us of their presence, so we could cover up if we were undressed. It made me smile, because I’ve only read of that in books. Nene’s sisters also came to greet me, and I began to relax little by little. Nene and her sisters gave me a towel to dry myself with, and dry clothes to wear. Soon after, when I was dry, Zainab, the one who was to draw the henna, came in, and began to draw it on my hands.
It took quite some time to dry, and at some point, I got up and began to swing my hands to hasten the process. I wanted it to dry fast so that I could go back to my room, night was rapidly falling.
The henna, still wet.
By the time my hands were getting dry, there was the smell of something sweet being fried permeating the house. Nene came into the room, bearing two plates of something steaming. She asked me if I’d ever heard of Masa, and if I could eat it. I said yes enthusiastically; I’d heard of Masa from my second roommate who grew up in the North, and had been looking forward to eating it. I could not eat it immediately, though, as I had to go to the bathroom to wash off the excess henna.
After washing off the excess henna, and rubbing my hands with vaseline.
It was getting really late by that time, so I called my roommate to let her know I would be sleeping over at Nene’s place. Then I settled down to enjoy the Masa. By the way, Masa is a Hausa/Fulani meal made from rice. The rice is cooked, and blended with a portion of uncooked rice that has been soaked in water overnight. Yeast is added to make it rise, and then it is fried in oil. Recipes vary from household to household though. For instance, Nene’ Masa was made from rice and semolina. I ate the Masa with mutton (ram meat) peppersoup. Oh, it was heaven! You should try it.
Nene and her sisters were pleased to see that I liked the Masa. They complained that a lot of people turn up their noses at it, and some say, “I don’t know how to eat it.”
“They should just say they don’t like it. How will you say you don’t know how to eat something? Is it not just to put it in your mouth and chew?” Nene said, and I laughed.
After eating, we chatted a bit, and then, Nene and I moved to the living room to catch some sleep and revise some more.
I took my bath, and rushed home to dress up after eating some more Masa. 🙂 When I got home, my roommates oohed and aahed over my henna, wished me a happy birthday, and showed me the food they had prepared for me the previous night. I promised them I would come back to eat it after my paper. As I was rushing to go, one of my neighbours, whom we call Aunty Funmi, came in, and said she would like to say “a word of prayer” for me. I prayed it would not take too long as I was already getting late. The “word of prayer” took about five minutes, and my roommates and I laughed about it when she was done. 🙂
I was to meet a coursemate- and fellow blogger- Barnabas, and go to school with him. He was already on the way, so I waited for him on the road. I guess that because I was all dressed up- a change from my jeans and tops- he did not recognise me. He just walked past, and I had to call him back. He turned to look at me, and got a shocked look on his face.
“This birthday is serious o, for you to have dressed up like this,” he said, and I laughed.
When we got to school, there were a lot of reactions. A lot of people just stared at me, and especially at my hands. Many did not even recognise me at first.
After the exam, I went back to my room. My roommates had prepared jollof rice, fried meat, plantains, and boiled eggs for lunch, and beans and fried plantains for dinner. I ate, and then watched two movies- The Prince and The Hundred Foot Journey. I also played music on my phone and danced. [I’m not a very good dancer o. 😉 ] Later, in the evening, I did something else I have wanted to do for some time. I went to sit on a low fence in front of my school and watched traffic, and people. Then I went back to my room and had dinner. I spent some time with God too, before going to bed. 🙂
In all, it was a very wonderful day, and I had a very nice time. A new year has started for me, and I plan to make the most of it.
Tell me about your birthday, will you?