Cheifou is a marabout, or Islamic religious leader. I walk past Cheifou every day, as he sits outside of his home diligently working or reading the Koran. This year, I finally got to chat a little with him, as my son Soriya watched him work with great fascination. In this photo, Cheifou is writing Koranic protection prayers on a wooden tablet with vegetable dye. Afterward, he will wash away the writings with water into a glass. The miraculous beverage will be drunk by a follower or student, thereby endowing him or her with protection. One of Cheifou’s friends asked me if I wished Cheifou to conjure a love potion for me… It is common for a person to seek healing or protection potions from their marabout. Some also do ask for love, wealth, and power. I responded with a laugh, and requested a protection prayer instead to watch over me and my family as we flew back to France that evening.