More accurately, “Senegal, we missed parts of you!” We did not miss your dusty, polluted air, your busy, crazy traffic or your narrow selection of expensive groceries. Yikes. Restocking our kitchen was a pain in the checking account! But we did miss some things…

Warm, sunny weather. This is the best time of year in Senegal. The nights drop gently to the low 70s. Perfect. And bright sunshine… so nice.

The view from our terrace. 

Every night it’s a different kind of amazing. And once the sun goes down, we can sit out there and watch the planes come in for landing. It’s strangely hypnotic and calming at the end of the day.

Pizza and movie night with Cheikh, but hopefully not with Pape. I’m hoping to get him down to bed about 15 minutes before the pizza is done. We’ll see how that works out… Any movie suggestions for us?

The ritual of greeting people, asking about their health, their family, their work, their day… And of course, ’tis the season to add a whole extra layer of greetings and well wishes for the new year (Dewenati!), asking them to forgive any past offenses (Baal ma aq) and then forgiving theirs. You just don’t hear much of that in the US, eh?

Walking up to our apartment and feeling like it’s home. When I first enter the building, I see the outdated tiles, the peeling paint, the cracked floors… and I think, “I can’t believe we live here.” But as I climb up the stairs, at every door I pass, a memory crosses from an exchange with the people in those apartments. The distinguished, elderly professor who lectured in cities across the US, the high school senior studying for med school entrance exams, the pregnant mother who sympathized with Pape’s crying… And by the time I get to our apartment, I am so happy we live here.

Hummus from Shady Shack. (And everything else from this restaurant!) Before leaving for the US, we heard rumors that he would possibly be closing the the public, possibly be relocating, possibly be doing a lot of things. All I know is this: I am back and I need some SS hummus. Who’s got the scoop (ha ha) on where I can find it?

Mmm… world’s best hummus topped with olive oil, cumin, hot pepper and black olives.

Kitchen Aid and grill. In a sweeping show of domesticity, I got Cheikh a grill for Christmas and he got me a Kitchen Aid. We haven’t exactly mastered either yet, but looking forward to tackling them now that we’re back. Any recipes or tips to share?