Sometimes learning another language lends itself to some really fantastic conversations. I was just in the kitchen speaking in Wolof(ish) to our house-helper about our weekend.
Me: See my arm that is pink? I forgot to do sun cream. Now, I have burn.
Her: Does it hurt a lot?
Me: No. Not a serious burn.
Her: What about Pape?
Me: No problem. I did his sun cream. And Cheikh… Cheikh, he… He…
(pause while I choose my route)
Me: Do you know indiens?
Me: Yes. Indien ethnic group. They are lighter than you, darker than me. Like Lebanese.
Her: Indiens… Oh! Like the Chinese. Yes, I know them.
Me: Well, there are Indiens from America also. Have you looked at a film of Cowboys and Indians?
Her: Yes. Oh yes, those Indians.
Me: Okay. Cheikh, his grandfather’s mother was Indian. So his skin is darker skin than my own.
Her: Cheikh is métisse? He’s mixed-race?
Me: Yes, he’s métisse, a little. His skin is dark so the sun doesn’t hurt him.
Her: And he’s métisse with the Indians from the cowboy movies?
Me: Umm, yes… That’s correct.
And then our house-helper began to giggle and laugh in a way that made me completely unsure as to whether the way I’d said it was wrong, or whether she was amazed at this information, or whether she was picturing him shooting a bow and arrow while robbing toubabs in covered wagons.
So anyway… we went to N’gor Island yesterday with friends from our church. It was perfect – one of those rare days where everything goes well. (Minus the sunburn, but that was my own fault.) The ride over was smooth, the restaurant location was great, the service quick, the food amazing, the bill small… Then the afternoon was just relaxing and playing on the beach.
Good to know:
- The ride over can be wet, so put cameras and phone in Ziploc bags and wear shoes/pants that can get wet.
- If you eat at one of the two big restaurants, they will come pick you up/take you back in their boats. Just let the guy selling tickets that you want to go to the restaurant and he’ll set you up.
- The new seafood restaurant (where we ate) is much cheaper than restos in Dakar.
- There are two beach areas, so check them both out before deciding where you want to park for the day.
- You can rent an umbrella/mat for 1,000cfa/day.
- You can also rent paddle boards.
- It’s still the cleanest place I’ve been in Senegal.
- The vendors still didn’t hassle us.