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Senegal Daily

Khady reporting

Hush, sweaty boy

Hush, sweaty boy, don’t say a word.
Maman’s gonna buy you a frozen bissap,

And if that frozen bissap melts,
Maman’s gonna dunk you in a bucket bath,

And if that bucket bath spills
over,
Maman’s gonna turn on the air conditioner.

And if that air conditioner gets broke,
Maman’s gonna call the repairman again.

And if that repairman only comes ‘inchalla’,
Maman’s gonna buy you a Shady Shack slushie.

And if that Shady Shack slushie melts,
Maman’s gonna buy you an Evernal fan,

And if that Evernal fan won’t spin,
Maman’s gonna take you to overcrowded, warm pool.

And if that overcrowded, warm pool doesn’t cool you off,
You’ll still be the sweatiest little boy in town.

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A familiar strangeness

I have a distinct memory from when I was eight years old of waking up in a room I didn’t recognize.

The floor had small black tiles and the windows had bars on them. Above me a fan was swirling at high speed, but my skin was sticky. A small clock by the bed said it was 2:30, and the sun was blazing so I knew it was afternoon. I could hear voices outside, but I couldn’t understand them.

I felt so disoriented, but with each breath I recognized pieces that felt familiar. Continue reading “A familiar strangeness”

10 things I miss about Dakar…

after being away this summer.

– The look of hot season. Not the feel, mind you. But the bright blue sky on the brilliant blue ocean are colors I miss.

Coconuts.

Marie’s freshly baked English muffins with her Casamance honey and some of Veronique’s all-peanut butter.

Wax print clothes.

– Mid-week lunches on the Petite Corniche and play-dates with our friends. (Note this list is not in order as my eyes are getting misty here…)

– Hearing the gendarme birds in the morning.

Shady Shack hummus and his amazing Sunday lunches to-go.

– Our church, a loving mish-mash of people from all around the world who happen to be in Dakar and have chosen to come together to encounter God and bless others.

– Cranking out designs and new ideas with Kayoong Community. Even if at times I feel like another trip to buy fabric at HLM market may kill me…

Routine. Despite its interruptions (like power cuts and water shortages), having our routine in Dakar makes life work for me.

Not surprisingly, these all fall under ‘feeling at home and part of a community’. If you’ve recently arrived in Dakar and haven’t reached these warm, fuzzy feelings (although you probably have achieved warm and sticky…), hang in there. Dakar is a busy intersection of people coming and going and you’ll find your rhythm soon.

How to surf

 

Oh no, this isn’t about ‘how to surf’ but about ‘how to surf’. What I mean is that reading this will not teach you how to catch and ride a wave, but hopefully it will inform you on how to connect with a great group of people who can teach you how to do just that.

Dakar’s coasts are filled with surfers of all levels, but figuring how to become on of them can be a bit tricky if you’re a newbie (ahem, like me) to this world. There are several surf schools, each one with its strengths and core values. Based on recommendations from friends, we went with Ecole SURF Attitude for our son – and one year in, I am very happy with our choice.

 

If you’re interested in diving in (ha!) to the world of surfing with Ecole SURF Attitude, here are 10 helpful tips. Continue reading “How to surf”

9 things I love right now

1. One of those mosquito screen roller thingies. You use it press the screen into the frame so that not a single little buzzer gets in.

2. The simplified headscarf. The much easier musoor. The foulard facile. Made by Origin’Elle and oh-so-easy. They are available in a variety of wax prints at Salon Annour in Fenetre Mermoz. My collection of them is growing…

3. A good laugh. See the SDE (water company) Facebook page for (oh, my sides!) news of their recent awards for excellence. 😂 Continue reading “9 things I love right now”

Dakar Fight Club

I’m not talking about Fight Club. I’m writing about Idy Camara and his various ‘fighting lessons’ that he offers in Dakar.

Idy is a heavy-weight kickboxer from the Mermoz club ‘Police’ who trains and coaches kickboxing and boxing and teaches self-defense classes to individuals and small groups. And just in case you think you’re in shape because you run, I can assure you that the boxing is an intense cardio workout! #somuchsweat But it can be fun for the whole family! 😉

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Idy Camara, photo by Bruno Col

Continue reading “Dakar Fight Club”

Respecting Ramadan and our fasting friends

“Oh, that smells awesome. I’m so hungry!”

I said it without thinking and immediately wished I could have swallowed my words before they made it out of my mouth. Today was the first day of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, and less than six hours into it, I had already goofed and said something rather inconsiderate in front of my Muslim friend who was abstaining from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset for the next 29 or 30 (depending on the moon) days.

The conversation that followed though really helped me to understand some ways that we as non-Muslims can respect Ramadan and our fasting friends. In a country that’s more than 95% Muslim, Ramadan is a big deal and affects nearly every aspect of life for one month a year. Continue reading “Respecting Ramadan and our fasting friends”

Making our Ndogou gift baskets!

Each year before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins, we make gift baskets to give to friends who are fasting. ‘Ndogou‘ is the time for breaking the day’s fast, once the sun goes down. Most often, this is done with break-fast foods.

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This year, our baskets came from Kayoong Community, but the goodies inside stayed pretty traditional: Continue reading “Making our Ndogou gift baskets!”

Furnishing your home in Dakar

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We moved to Dakar in 2011 with just suitcases. Seven years later, we accumulated a few trial-and-error tidbits of information and some tips from setting up a home in Dakar that may be helpful to newcomers (welcome!). Keep in mind that Dakar is a rapidly evolving city with more and more options available each year, but hopefully this will help as you settle in and furnish your new home… 

Continue reading “Furnishing your home in Dakar”

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