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At the entrance to Marché Kermel

I am happy-exhausted. It’s the kind of tired that you feel after a good run along the Corniche, or speaking Wolof all day while visiting friends in the village, or spending a couple hours with your six-week-old tied to your back as you help a video crew discover Marché Kermel on the first really humid day of rainy season, then you take them all back to your apartment where two Senegalese friends have prepared a gorgeous platter of thieboudienne and you sit down to chow down and talk cultural differences, traditions, gender roles and what makes a Wolof woman a Wolof woman.

I’m that kind of happy-exhausted. (And by the way, ‘fuuk ak juroom’ means 15 in Wolof.)

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Me talking about something. Something fascinating, I hope!

As you may have guessed, today was the filming of an upcoming episode of Waterfront Cities of the World on Dakar, featuring yours truly. I was contacted by the show’s producer a couple weeks ago after she found my blog. (Not this one. This one.) One thing the episode will focus on food, so they were looking for someone who could give insight into local cuisine and also an outsider’s perspective on what makes it unique. So voilà.

Filming with Diami and Vero in our kitchen
Filming with Diami and Vero in our kitchen

We made plans and outlined a schedule (I’ll let you guess how closely it got followed!) and I invited Diami, Véro and Mariétou to participate. I may love eating thieboudienne, but they are the real experts! The day started at 8am when Diami showed up with all the ingredients and began slicing, peeling and pounding away. I, on the other hand, was still trying to re-decide what to wear and trying a new Pinterest tip for maximizing my mascara. Little did I know that an hour or so later I’d be standing dripping with sweat in the middle of the market and not even caring enough to wipe it away. Again.

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Sophie asking us about the availability of fresh produce in Dakar

The crew that went to Marché Kermel (my favorite food market in Dakar) included the show’s host, Sophie, my friend Mariétou, the producer and three camera and mic guys. We walked the circular aisles talking about the items for sale, grocery shopping habits of the Senegalese and expats, our favorite local dishes, what’s grown here and what’s imported… The whole time, the film crew was walking ahead of us and, well, filming. There may have been a little impromptu dancing with one of the women vendors I passed and there was definitely a lot of oohing and ahhing over Ndeye being carried in my back à la sénégalaise.

We did all the conversations twice, once in French and then again in English, since the show will air in both. No worries, I will definitely keep you posted on the airing info!

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The camera crew eating thieboudienne (on my living room floor) after the filming