Mark your calendar. Have Siri remind you. Put a Post-it note on yourkitchen wall:
The DWG Art Show 2020 launches online on Thursday, April 30th at 8pm. (It’s curfew, so you’d better be home and ready at your screen!) You don’t want to miss the opening event, theSquares, all original works on 20cm x 20 cm canvases which are a DWG Art Show tradition.
Through the years, artists generously share their talents and donated small works with their interpretation of a theme. Usually the Squares are exhibited together on a dedicated wall in the DWG Art Show gallery, and sell fast! They sell for 25,000 CFA each, and thanks to the generosity of the artists, all of these revenues from them go directly to support DWG’s charitable activities.
Knowing how popular the Squares are, last year they shifted from a first come-first sold basis, to a lottery: anyone who is interested in a Square can sign up for it and from the list of interested people, the “winner” is selected randomly. This year, they will be doing this via Facebook comments. Just write “I want to buy this square,” in the comments. This will be from 8 pm on April 30th – until 7.59 pm on May 1st.
According to page 3 of today’s update from the Ministry of Health, wearing face masks in public is now strongly recommended here in Senegal. Considering the movement of things, I would not be surprised if it became mandatory soon. In any case, there’s no time like the present to get yourself stocked in reusable, washable face masks!
As a consultant, I’ve worked from home for many years. And just this week, I’ve been joined (at a distance!) by many of you here in Dakar. Mai-anh Peterson, a British localization specialist and digital project manager also based in Dakar, recently shared some fantastic tips for a successful teleworking experience and I asked her share them here. She has been working remotely from her home office for a UK-based company since moving to Senegal in 2015.
With the events surrounding the global Covid-19 pandemic changing by the day, many offices are asking employees to work from home wherever possible. If you’re not used to home working, it can be challenging to adjust to the new environment and feel as productive and supported by colleagues as you normally do in the workplace. For those who are also practising social distancing, it may be difficult to deal with feelings of loneliness or anxiety. Here are some useful tips for safeguarding your mental health as well as your physical health during these uncertain times: Continue reading “Tips for working from home”→
Preparedness, not panic. Let’s all repeat it together. Preparedness, not panic.
So how should we be preparing here in Dakar? For those that have seen me get squeamish around taking out a splinter, you know I’m not a medical professional. But I have friends with roots and connections here in Senegal who are and we’ve been talking a lot about what preparedness should (or could) look like. From those conversations, I have made this list. More ideas welcome!
1. Don’t settle for crappy news sources. Go straight to reputable sources for your information. If you see something shared on social media with a source listed, go to the source and verify it before sharing. (This is exactly how the rumor got started that Senegal was the #2 most polluted country in the world. An article + image circulated on social media citing the WHO/OMS as a source, but wasn’t.)
For Covid-19 in Senegal, the sources I am looking to are:
2. Store a 2-week supply of food and water (per DHS recommendations for before a pandemic) while supporting local production. This means your shopping list could include a large bag of rice from Casamance, dried niébé beans, all-peanut butter from Veronique’s peanuts, fonio… And don’t forget the piment sauce!
3. Go online. Should you choose to follow social distancing guidelines or need to self-quarantine, TafTaf.sn delivers a growing variety of groceries, Hypermarché has online ordering and delivery via Jumia Food, and Club Kossam is rolling out their organic grocery ordering and deliveries, including BeerSheba products. MIYA delivers water.
5. Go ahead and buy medicines you may need for common illnesses (pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, drinks with electrolytes…). Also be sure to buy at least 3 weeks of any prescription medications you may need. Do this NOW. But please read up on mask recommendations before buying and wearing them.
6. Talk to your kids. Talk to them about hand washing, talk to them about their fears, equip them with truth and the power to protect themselves and others. If you’re feeling a bit lost on how to do this, there are lots of great resources online.
7. Save these numbers.
Health ministry hotline: 800 00 50 50 SAMU Nationale: 15 15 Health ministry alert numbers: 767659731 / 707171492 / 781721081
But before you call them, call SOS Medecins, Remed24 or your usual GP. Local physicians are a key first screening step to save resources above from unnecessary overload.
“Dust or Coronavirus?” the pharmacist asked me this morning as I stood in line to buy masks. Fortunately I was able to safely choose just dust protection for now. But I decided that while I was there at the pharmacy I might as will stock up on some other items that might be useful considering the dust wall that blew in from the Sahara desert last night.
If you find yourself in similar shoes, or dust-covered feet, here are a few items that I would suggest picking up to help your family cope with the dust and stay fit and healthy.
For many years, I have wanted to do a series on insights into everyday aspects of life in Senegal that we as outsiders may not fully comprehend. For each of these, I’ll be interviewing and asking questions and then passing on what they’ve said. For this first edition, here are a few things to consider the next time you’re bargaining for your taxi in Dakar.
Most drivers don’t own the vehicles they are driving. They rent them for about 10,000 CFA daily.
The vehicle’s owner usually pays for insurance and repairs over 5000 CFA.
Paying for fuel and repairs under 5000 CFA probably fall on the driver.
Drivers may spend up to 25,000 CFA daily in fuel.
After all is said and done, a driver may only take home a few thousand francs ($5-6) per day to meet the needs of his family.
Taxi Driver 101: These are the guidelines taught at taxi school in Dakar. Don’t ask how I got my hands on their curriculum – it’s best you don’t know. Just trust me that this is what must be mastered before you can cruise the streets in something yellow, black and Arabic all over.
I am not an animal lover by anyone’s definition nor stretch of imagination. I would never hurt an animal, of course, but probably the only reason I’d ever pet your cat would be to gently push it away from me. And if it’s a dog you have, I’m probably only interacting with it so that my kids don’t grow up afraid of them like I did.
To be honest, before I visited their stand at the Dakar Farmers Market a few years ago and chatted with co-founder Vicky Van Gemert, I thought LPA did three things:
1) guilt people into adopting street animals,
2) help rescue and rehabilitate injured animals,
3) guilt expats leaving the country who could not take their pets with them.
Every morning we wake up to a new view of the Sahel Desert from in our apartment. The Harmattan winds blow the sand in grain by grain and January is peak ‘dust season’. Even my weather app just says DUST for every day’s forecast. Well, some days it says WIDESPREAD DUST. But don’t worry, I’ve compiled….