The little world traveler. When people asked if it was his first flight, he’d just say, “Pfffthhht!”

Our South African Airways flight landed in Dakar at 6:11am. Getting off I thought…

80° is warm. Smells like ocean and… incense. Wow – humid too. This feels like Atlanta in the summer.

That guy dressed like a thug just kissed the ground. He actually kissed the ground. He looks so happy.

I hear Wolof. I’ve forgotten 87% of my Wolof.

Those three must be Peace Corps Volunteers. Totally unaffected and uninterested by the craziness going on at the arrivals terminal. Can you call a big room a ‘terminal’?

That couple must be here for the first time. I recognize that overwhelmed look. Part amazement and excitement, part ‘what are we doing here?!’.

The customs agent is asleep at his desk.

I hope Cheikh filled out the customs forms correctly. This is the tricky part… Praying for no hassles, praying for no hassles… Phew. No hassles. Yalla baaxna.

That customs agent is wearing a down coat and winter hat.

Is that… Yup. That’s a cat wandering around baggage claim.

Pape is going to grow up with this scene seeming normal.

Those signs are all handwritten in marker:
– Authorized personnel only.
– Form line here.
– No entry.

Are we the only ones who didn’t wrap our bags in Saran Wrap before checking them?

All five bags made it!

30 more steps… Mmm… More ocean and incense.

Nope. Don’t need a taxi. Don’t need to exchange money. Don’t need to rent a car. Don’t need a tour guide.

The streets are so empty at this time of day.

I hear birds – lots of birds. It sounds like waking up in Côte d’Ivoire when I was little.

Home.

Hmm… The top deadbolt has been pried off the door…

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