On June 15th there was a full lunar eclipse on this side of the world. I hadn’t told many people in my village about it ahead of time, since an eclipse is not the easiest thing to explain in Mandinka. As the sun set, I positioned my chair in the yard so that I could watch the moon rise, worrying that cloud cover might again thwart my eclipse viewing plans. My family was probably pretty confused about why I was so intent about watching the moon. I just kept saying, “I’m waiting for the moon. You’ll see, you’ll see, just wait.” When the moon rose above the clouds it was almost fully eclipsed. A tiny sliver was just starting to emerge from our shadow. As people in my village took note of what was happening they began singing religious songs “to make the moon come back.”
Mamadou: How did you know that was going to happen?!