Power cut. Thankfully not as common these days as they once were, and on this particular evening I don’t have anything on my to-do list and there’s a wonderfully cool, crisp breeze blowing through the apartment. So we find the flashlights, make a half-hearted attempt to rinse off dinner dishes, then just slow down and sit in the semi-darkness.

Image
Nothing says classy like hanging a wind-up lantern from your chandelier!

When there are things to be done, this forced slowing down drives me bonkers. And when it’s hot season and a power cut means no air-conditioning or no fans as you simmer in your own sweat, I am not a happy camper. (Because I am not camping!! This is my home and I shouldn’t have to adopt camping lifestyle! End rant.)

With hot season just around the corner, I’m savoring every cool evening and refreshing breeze that I can. I know that in a matter of weeks it will be all hot, all the time. The power cuts will increase in frequency and duration. The rains will bring their heavy humidity and flooded streets, followed by mosquitos and malaria. And I will once again realize how true it is that Dakar and I are cool-weather friends.

Enjoying evenings that still cool off enough for a glass of attaya, Senegalese tea
Enjoying evenings that still cool off enough for a glass of attaya, Senegalese tea

In English, we say something ‘warms our heart’. But to express the same sentiment, the Wolof say, Sama xol dafa sedd, meaning ‘my heart is cold’. Oh Dakar, my heart is so cold towards you – in both languages.