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Senegal Daily

Khady reporting

RFI report on the clothing SWAP

Back in January (which feels like ages ago, doesn’t it?) I organized the annual clothing SWAP to benefit women in prison here in Senegal. RFI journalist Emmanuelle Landais was interested by the concept and did an amazing report, which is now available online.

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I do cringe at the sound of my voice recorded, but I got tears in my eyes hearing Maman Ndeye‘s voice as she spoke about the women in prison and the (years of selfless, compassionate) work she does to help them. Our daughter is named after her, and we could not have made a better choice for a role model and tuurando.

Listen online here. 

 

 

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It’s a choice.

Dakar, I love you. I really do.

But some days it feels like if it’s not power cuts, it’s water cuts; if it’s not 99% humidity, it’s dust storms; if it’s not flooded streets, it’s protests and rocks thrown at cars… And some days it’s a mix of of these. Like one big Dakar casserole of chaos.

My son made signs to remind people to, “flush toilets only when necessary”.

Today, I really need to choose love you. But you’re not making it easy*.

(*However, thank you for the arrival of fresh blueberries at the new Hypermarché. You never cease to amaze me, Dakar.)

Pads for women in prison

Since recording this video on Saturday, I have been in touch with APIafrique and they have offered us a price reduction for a bulk order they are very excited to be providing washable cloth menstrual pads for women in prison in Senegal.

Are YOU excited about providing pads for women in prison? Because if so, let’s talk! 😁 I’ll be placing the order very soon.

The current situation for coping with periods while in prison is, as you can imagine, not good. Our goal is to provide every woman who is currently serving a sentence at the prison and Rufisque with two medium size pads and one of the larger size pads for overnight.

I have to be honest, this is a pretty big goal. The final numbers still need to be confirmed, but it’s approximately 100 women and about 10,000 CFA (or $20) each. But I would love to see what we can do towards meeting it together!

Escape to Ecolodge de Lompoul

I am slowly but surely getting over my fears of traveling with children in Senegal. It’s not really Senegal’s fault. It’s just that traveling with young children is unpredictable and sometimes more challenging than it’s worth. #LoveYouGuysLots.

Our most recent trip out of Dakar was by far the easiest so far and the one I would recommend the most for families, and that means families with children of all ages. Our crew ranged from 18 months to… well let’s just say adults. 🙂

We booked a one-night stay at the Ecolodge de Lompoul via Pape Dieye of Saint-Louis Découverte. (Don’t let the name fool you, Pape is an accredited tour guide for all of Senegal. So whether we want to go to the Djoudj bird park north of Saint Louis or to see the lions at Niokolo Koba park or explore the Casamance, he’s our guy.)

Here is some (hopefully helpful) info from our trip to Lompoul Desert… Continue reading “Escape to Ecolodge de Lompoul”

Packing your ‘bug out bag’

First of all, I’d like to say that I grew up calling it a ‘flee bag’. No, not ‘flea bag’. F-L-E-E. Like to run. But apparently many people call the bag that you prepare to grab in case you need to, ahem, flee in an emergency a ‘bug out bag’.

Whatever you call it, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies no matter where you live. And the best time to tackle this kind of project is before there’s a need for it. So this morning I decided to procrastinate work be proactive and get our flee bag ready. Continue reading “Packing your ‘bug out bag’”

Christmas in Dakar: 10 things to do

It’s already started: the inevitable Facebook posts and Instagram snaps of Dakar expats hopping on planes and going to places with snow, wearing boots and scarves and celebrating with friends in Christmas sweaters. For some of us, Christmas will be 80 degrees with a chance of dust storm.

But there are some fun things to do in Dakar this season! Here are just a few. Add your own below…

1. Check out the Christmas market downtown! The Village de Noel runs December 20-14 at the place de l’indépendance. Shop for gifts, enjoy some food and the lights!

2. Have Christmas pjs made! Seydou Diallo (776516566) made these adorable, lightweight red ones with white piping for the kiddos last year.

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Or you can also buy super sweet little girls’ pjs from Ayo Nene at Minibap in Point E. Abi designs and makes her own line and they are so cute that I really wish she made them for adults. #pleease Continue reading “Christmas in Dakar: 10 things to do”

Recuplast: recycling plastic in Dakar

I’ve been meaning to check out Recuplast, this amazing company that collects plastic in Dakar (amazingly, they manage to find some – ha!) and repurposes it into affordable household items. It’s a brilliant concept, and much needed in our wonderful city.

This morning I visited their offices on the VDN and got the full scoop from the very lovely Mademoiselle Ba. I’ve condensed down all my oohing and aahing to 5 things you should know about Recuplast.

1. All their items are made from recycled plastic. Period.

2. They have plastic collection sites around Dakar and you can find the one nearest you here. Or you can request that they come pick up at your home, school or business.

3. You can buy their products at these collection sites, but probably best to call first to be sure they are set up and ready. 🙂 Or do like I did and go to their offices on the VDN, right next to the big Hyundai building and across from Good Rade hotel. It’s in the same building as Restaurant la VDN, 4th floor. Tel: 33 827 00 47.

4. You can also place orders for their products online or by phone and they can deliver to you! Many color choices and sizes available.

5. For a full listing of their products, check out their Facebook page. But a few items I’d like to highlight

  • Table with 4 stools, 60 000 CFA. (Or stools at 10 000 CFA each.)
  • 100 plastic trash bags, 10 000 CFA or 15 000 CFA depending on thickness. These are BIG, sturdy trash bags. The thicker ones reminded me of the yard refuse bags in the US. I bought the thinner ones (although still very sturdy!) for our household trash.
  • 50-liter trash bins with lid, 6000 CFA.
  • Outdoor chair, 4500 CFA.
  • Wash basins in 5 sizes ranging from ‘load of laundry’ to ‘kitchen compost’. The whole set is 7500 CFA.
  • ‘Teapots’ for washing, 700 CFA or 500 CFA.

Check out their Facebook page for more details, or visit their website.

 

My African heart

I grew up in the large village/small town of Daloa in Côte d’Ivoire. Not exactly a megacity, although there were a few two-story buildings, and located right smack-dab in the middle of the country itself. So it’s a bit surprising that there was such a mix of nationalities and ethnicities. I say ‘a mix’ because to say ‘a blend’ implies seamless homogeneity.

Within Côte d’Ivoire there were more than 60 distinct ethnic groups. In addition, most laborers and domestic workers came from nearby countries like Mali and Burkina Faso. The corner boutiques were run by Mauritanian men in long flowing robes. My school was (ahem) a mix of French, Lebanese and Ivorian students.

Among all these, the nomadic Fulani women always stood out to me. Continue reading “My African heart”

DWG 2017 Christmas Bazaar

The Dakar Women’s Group Christmas Bazaar will be November 19th at Centre Aminata Mbaye in Grand Yoff! The Bazaar will run from 10am to 5pm. Entry is 1000 CFA for adults and 500 CFA for children.

Following recent security alerts, the location has been changed this year, so pay attention folks… The lovely Bazaar team tirelessly looked at other options and happily settled on a school which is very close to the heart of Dakar Women’s Group. Centre Aminata Mbaye (CAM) is the school for the Association Senegalaise pour la protection des Enfants Deficients Mentaux. It is located in a very peaceful neighbourhood, right next door to Keru Yakaar, House of Hope clinic.

Over the past ten years, DWG has sponsored CAM in order for it to be repainted, to have a functioning kitchen for school meals and bought educational toys such as wooden puzzles and other materials suited to the needs of their children. They donated money for the external walls to be raised, and also sponsored the vegetable garden and planting around the school. In 2016/17 they funded the renovation of the school toilets.

All of the work that DWG has done in that community, in an effort joined by Terrou-bi Hotel, you will see firsthand at the Bazaar!

As it is a new Bazaar venue requiring new logistics, the original date has been pushed back to the 19th rather than 11th. The 19th is a Sunday, which is perfect for driving around Dakar with little or no traffic, and there is plenty of parking around Centre Aminata Mbaye. (Big thank you to the mayor’s office which has confirmed the availability of a large parking lot!) Also good to know, there is lots of shade at the center.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 11.41.15 AM Click here for map.

As with all DWG Bazaars and Galas, security is a priority and Sagam guards as well as the red beret gendarmes will be present.

Last year’s DWG Christmas Bazaar raised a record-breaking 8.5 million CFA for charities. It is also a significant event for the vendors, many of whom rely on fairs like this for their livelihood… and let’s not forget that it’s important for us shoppers too! No other event like it in Dakar.

DWG members, events team, executive committee and Madame president Fatou Jobe – THANK YOU for your efforts each year to provide these events for our community. Well will be there with bells on and CFA in hand. 😉

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