Senegal Daily

Khady reporting

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! 😉

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.


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”

2018 DWG Art Show

Capture d_écran 2018-02-26 à 08.25.44When 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 five 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 “2018 DWG Art Show”

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. 



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.)

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