The drive takes us over two hours. The road is paved with fruit stands, cattle markets, buses of workers packed like sardines with young men swinging off the back doors. … Open air stalls are everywhere. Random objects coexist side by side—you can pick up a watermelon, a tire, and a soccer ball all on the same corner.
There is no order anywhere; in fact it’s a mess. Yet there is so much beauty in these ruins. It’s 3 PM on Thursday and I’m back to the village and ready to work. We go straight to the shoemakers’ who, in my absence, have completed some cuffs that are ready for my inspection.
Things are going pretty well until we visit La Mama and a crocheted earring is presented to me and it looks like an oven mitt. Mom wrote and said, “Remember, you are the pro.” I have no idea what she meant but at this moment I’m not feeling so pro.
I take a deep breath. I don’t want to upset La Mama, especially because she is the dear friend of Mme. Gueye, but I’m truly freaking out.
An artisan at work making a cuff
Beaded bracelet in the making
The finished product: zebra-print cuff …
… and earrings