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Senegal Daily

Khady reporting

9 (hot) things to do (hot) today

It has been SO hot recently. I went to bed in a sweatshirt one night and woke up in the middle of the Sahel Desert right in my bedroom.  So hot. The good news is that it’s too hot to stay this hot…in April. 

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But yes, it will get hotter. And much, much, much more humid. (I mean at least this is dry heat, ammirite longtimers?) 

However let’s be wise and do the following seven things:

1. Put a mostly-full Kirene bottle of water in the freezer. Give it to a guard, delivery person, talibé boy… A much appreciated gift we can give daily in hot weather.  Continue reading “9 (hot) things to do (hot) today”

I had a Mom-meltdown at church today.

“I can’t take this anymore,” I hissed, holding my daughter by her armpits, storming out the back door without making eye contact with anyone.

It had been a pretty typical morning. Make breakfast x4, get three of us dressed, teeth brushed and hair fixed, snacks made, a couple of loads of of laundry started… you know. We were out the door on time and everyone was even in fairly good moods and no one got upset about not finding the exact shoe they wanted to wear.

But as I sat there before the second song even started, something just snapped. Continue reading “I had a Mom-meltdown at church today.”

My Senegal travel tips 

Let’s be honest. 90% of my “travel” is within a two-hour radius of Dakar. So this post would be more accurately titled “Tips for going to Saly with little kids.”

1. You cannot pack too much bottled water. On our way out of Dakar, we stop to buy an extra 6-pack of 1.5 liter bottles of Kirene, just in case. And they usually don’t make it home.

2. Also stock up on extra credit for phone and internet before you go. There are some dead zones for cell service but in general you can get online and figure out where on (Google) Earth you are when needed.

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3. Sunglasses. Yes, they protect your eyes from sun, blah blah blah. They also allow you to close your eyes discreetly so the driver can’t see that you are freaking out internally when they pass a semi-truck going around a blind curve. Continue reading “My Senegal travel tips “

2017 DWG Art Show

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When we lived in France, I worked in an office with British colleagues. I learned quite a few things, not the least of which included these language differences:

  1. When your boss asks you for a ‘rubber’ in the middle of an editorial meeting, she means what I as an American would call an ‘eraser’.
  2. In America we say someone is ‘artsy fartsy’ but in the UK they are ‘arty farty’.

Now here’s something I learned four years ago here in Dakar: the DWG Art Show is not at all artsy fartsy, nor arty farty. It’s just plain awesome. Continue reading “2017 DWG Art Show”

The difference one letter makes…

One letter in one word changed this story completely…

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When I go for longer runs, all I take with me are a few coins for buying a bottle of water and taxi fare to get back from wherever I end up. This morning’s run ended right at a taxi stand where about 15 cars were parked. Some of the drivers were asleep in their backseats with their legs stetching out of open passenger doors. The others were sitting around a small table on wobbly wooden benches eating egg sandwiches on baguette. This little tangana café shared a wall with a buutik, a tiny shop carrying a crazy number of items in such a small space.

I greeted the drivers eating breakfast, answered a few questions including my name (I’ve learned to rely ‘Madame Diop’ rather than ‘Khady’ as it shuts down any further questions about my marital status or interest in something on the side) and walked to the open window of the buutik. More greetings. And then I asked to buy water.

Well, kind of. Continue reading “The difference one letter makes…”

Bathing suit shopping, Dakar style

2:20pm
I post in the Gazelle Skirt Facebook group asking where to buy bathing suits in Dakar.

2:25pm
My friend Mirna replied that there’s a guy who will come to your house with a big bag of new bathing suits, all for the same price. She gives me his phone number.

3:02pm
I call Ousmane on my way home from picking up the kids at school and arrange for him to be at my house in an hour. Also post on Facebook that others are welcome to come shop.

4pm
Other show up to shop.

5:25pm
Several phone calls and directions given in two languages later, Ousmane arrives with a GIANT duffel bag crammed full of one-pieces, bikinis, monokinis, tops, bottoms, ruffles, one-shoulders, stripes, florals, cut-outs, neons… They overflow like lava onto the tile and we dive in.

6pm
We emerge victorious. Each of us found three or more. Bathing suits are 10,000 CFA ($20) each and tops or bottom at 5000 CFA ($10). Everyone goes home happy. Particularly, I think, Ousmane.

Ousmane
Bathing suit vendor, also sells workout clothes.
Tel: 77 700 5488
Instagram: @ousmane5876

Bad ideas

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Putting shea butter on your skin right before going to a sandy beach.

Thinking you can handle the heat of the whole piment popped in your mouth.

Thinking you can handle attaya poured straight out of the barada without cooling it off by slurping it through your teeth as you drink it.

Wearing white.

Running with noise canceling headphones on the Corniche. (Seriously people.)

Letting yourself run out of matches. Or coffee.

Drinking any alcohol produced in Rufisque. (For the record, this was learned secondhand.)

On the other end of the spectrum (😂), drinking bissap that has been stored in a brake fluid bottle. #beenthere #donethat

Getting the wetsuit on before asking the child if they need to pee.

Sideways leaning taxis. ‘Cause you know there’s no seatbelt in that thing to keep you from sliiiiding over…

Wondering where puddles come from… when it’s not rainy season.

Any variation of this, said to an vendor at HLM: “I’ve never bought this kind of fabric before. What does it cost?”

Pink toilet paper. It’s just wrong. And bad.

Getting rid of those reserve buckets because ‘the water has gotten so much better!’ #famouslastwords #keurmomarsarrstrikesagain

Widows + Lent + Big Plans

This morning while working on some branding and new product development, I narrowed down what makes me passionate about these kinds of projects.

1. Sources materials locally – and preferably from someone’s garbage bin.

2. Provides sustainable income for artisans.

3. Creates an end product that I would use for myself or my family.

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Nothing earth-shattering or shocking. But sometimes reminding myself of the basics and my boundaries is a good idea.

Stay tuned. New business launch coming soon… But in the meantime, let me tell you about the pre-launch fundraising. Continue reading “Widows + Lent + Big Plans”

Navigating a visit to the US Embassy in Dakar

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Passport renewal time!

Tip #1 Do not go the US Embassy website for information using your smartphone. Why? Because the mobile layout may not include some sidebar information, such as the very important fact that American citizens must make an appointment for all Consular services. The same goes for Googling the answer to your question.

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No. Don’t do this. Don’t click on these.

Continue reading “Navigating a visit to the US Embassy in Dakar”

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