It was early morning on the Tabaski holiday in Senegal, where I recently taught first grade at the International School of Dakar. At the home of Almamy Badiane, his sisters and sisters-in-law made preparations for a feast that would last all day and into the night. Venturing into the outdoor kitchen with my dusty Holga medium-format camera, I was not unwelcome, but I knew my place as a guest was beside the host.  My own plastic chair was waiting. The result was this image, which appears in a new book of short stories set in West Africa, Everything Is Insha’Allah, by Bradford Philen.

—Noah Balazs ’06