🎃 Spooky Season in Côte d'Ivoire 🎃
In honor of Spooky Season, I had a Halloween-themed English Club this week. It kind of backfired a bit though; the kids were more interested in the lollipops than the scary stories, but they did all love singing Secret, the Pretty Little Liars theme song. It also led to this funny interaction.
Two of our cohort members have Halloween adjacent birthdays, so we call decided to gather in Grand Bassam for the weekend to have a Halloween-Birthday-Abissa-Reunion party. Abissa is a weeklong festival that starts on Halloween in Grand-Bassam. I’ll make an entirely separate post about it, but it was a great way to follow up our little Halloween celebration.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays; I LOVE dressing up, decorating, and spending a weekend not taking myself too seriously. Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking about costumes when I packed for this fellowship. For a week, I kept trying to rearrange my closet to fit a costume and the only one I could make was this classic photo of The Rock, which I had done two years ago last time I was abroad.
I decided to raid K’s and E’s closets and managed to put together a risqué version of Harry Style’s “Fine Line"
album cover. But that didn’t seem like enough, so the day we left for Grand Bassam, I searched everywhere for stickers in an attempt to remake Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” cover. Stickers are apparently really hard to find in CDI, but I think I did a pretty good job. After a little gbaka (dollar van) issue, we finally made it to Grand Bassam late Friday night, ready to decorate and celebrate Halloween.
B is a hardcore designer and artist. (it’s hard to find Halloween decorations in CDI) She had a clear vision and it turned out great. We splattered fake blood everywhere, hung up little skulls, and painted oranges to look like Jack o Lanterns. On Halloween Eve, we had an incredible dinner (attieke poulet), ate some cake, and started getting into our costumes. The other occupants of her building were really excited to see Americans celebrate Halloween and I think we had a good range of costumes. Together we had an album cover, a dead housewife, a tourist, a zebra cowboy, a woman whose ex-husband “mysteriously” died, a leopard, and two Mami Watas.
After everyone was ready, we took pictures, played some pong, did a little karaoke, and then split up, some people went out to local bars and the rest of us went to bed. I can’t say it was the Halloween I imagined for myself this time last year, but it was nice to have a little slice of home.