Friday, October 24, 2008

Narba's family

Zueria and her son Rahman

I was thinking it is time to give a few bios of people with whom I spend a lot of time, and are especially interesting. I know that I mention Narba often, which is partially because I hang out with her a lot, but also because you know who she is, sort of. But there are plenty of other people who deserve a shout-out, and who-if you visit-you will definitely meet. (Truthfully, you will meet every person in this village and you will be talked about for at least one, possibly two decades after the event.) We will re-cap the familiar figures, beginning with:

Narba Sama'ina: Good, precious, devious, everywhere-at-once, Narba. 70 years old-ish, the matriarch of a large family, all of whom I have come to know pretty well. Narba's family is the closest thing to family here. They include: her sons Sala, Shaibu, and Omarou, and their wives Zueria, Rasida, and Mariama, and their children. Of Narba's daughters'-in-law, I guess I know Mariama the best. She is close to my age, and very much loves to tell crazy stories about how she is going to sleep out in the bush, so would I mind watching Hairira (her daughter) for the night? Rasida is pretty young, maybe 17 or so, and she watches my garden when I leave the village. Zueria is married to Narba's eldest son, and they are the only married couple I know here that spends time together outside of their home: they joke and tease each other in the somewhat "public" shared space between the brothers' three houses (but certainly not in the village). Zueria is beautiful and loves to laugh. Her five children are also lovely and sweet. Rahman, the youngest, thinks I'm #1, and toddles over to be held as soon as he catches a glimpse of my white ankles. He calls me "Haba! Haba!"


No comments: