It’s not our very first week ever in Dakar, but it is our first week here in a long time. So we learned a lot.

Papaya and lime

– Papaya is good. Too much papaya is bad.

– If you have the opportunity to charge up your electronics (laptop, phone, etc…), do it! You never know when a 6- or 8-hour power cut will strike.

– The Dakar Women’s Group publishes a guidebook to life here that is incredible. It’s a fantastic resource… and a steal at only 10,000 cfa (about $20).

– Not all candelight meals are romantic. For example, those that occur due to poorly timed power cuts.

Bottle reminder

– A good way to remind yourself to brush your teeth using filtered water is to put the bottle in the sink. That way when you move it, it reminds you to use it!

– You can buy a 3G USB modem from Sonatel (called la clé 3G Orange) so that you can have internet during power cuts. Orange extended the end-of-year special, so for now it’s available at half-price for 15,000 cfa (about $30). You can buy pre-paid credit… but ironically you have to be online to do so!

– When you tell a taxi driver you want to go to ‘Dakar City’, be sure he understands that you mean the Dakar City shopping complex and not just downtown Dakar. Two totally different places.

– It’s not conclusive yet, but I suspect that power cuts in the afternoon are God’s way of telling me to take a nap.