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Yeah, sure, the power is off and our water reservoir is empty (again) six days before the five-day water cut is even supposed to begin… But some aspects of my life here in Dakar are truly eye-rollingly pampered. (She says this, biting into a freshly baked banana muffin, made to her exact specifications with all whole wheat flour and lait caillé.)

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Three days a week, a wonderful woman comes to work for us. Depending on the day, that can mean cleaning, cooking, ironing… Whatever needs to be done. Or, on days like today when there wasn’t much, she finds things to do like sweep the dust off the balcony ceiling. This was after she made us homemade pizzas for dinner tonight and very patiently let a certain toddler ‘help’ her with the dishes.

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Of course, just as the muffins were going into the oven, the gas bottle ran out. So we (well, you know what I mean by ‘we’) swapped it out for the spare. And the empty one will be exchanged by our building’s guard, who will come to the door to pick it up, haul it downstairs and up the street, then haul a full one all the way back. He also pays our phone bill for us – which fortunately can still be done even if petit someone took a bite out of it.

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Ring, ring! Oh, I’ll call them back later… Cell phones here in Senegal work on a prepaid system using cards that you buy and then scratch to reveal a code that you then enter in your phone. Most people buy these from one of the many young phone card vendors on the street. Not me. I’m pampered, remember? My husband is friends with a vendor who hangs out on our street and when I need phone credit, Ibrahima hikes the four flights of stairs up to our door to deliver phone cards. Which is what he did this morning when I found out there was a one-day promotional offer.

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We are also the only people I know who call for deliveries from our local buutik (corner store). So when I run out of flour/eggs/milk powder/mayonnaise, I can call Baldé and he’ll bring my order to the door. This sweet little arrangement was also set up by my husband, but it definitely helps that we usually place fairly large orders with the buutik, like over 10,000cfa ($20).

But lest you start thinking I just have it way too easy over here, let me remind you: still no electricity and no water. 😉