When I’m sipping café au lait with the ‘Real Housewives of Dakar’ at our usual spot overlooking the ocean.


When I’m picking up three garbage bags-worth of trash from our parking lot so the kids can have a clean(er) place to play.

When I can have my produce, poultry, meat, seafood, dairy products and eggs delivered to my door each week.

When my son is playing soccer with talibé boys and a passerby asks one of the boys if he knows his parents and he answered, “It’s been a long time since I was home. But I think I would know my mother. She has light skin.”

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When my 18-month-old daughter shakes and nods her head to respond appropriately to questions she’s asked in Wolof.

When the doorbell rings at 7:30am and it’s someone bringing us a gift -a beautiful, massive squash grown in her home village.

When we finally get a new water pump system installed, but now get alternating hot/cold every 20 seconds. And that’s the fix. There is no further solution.


When my son is learning to make pottery from a deaf teacher who holds his hands to guide them as he looks into my son’s eyes to communicate.

When making ice means filling the bucket filter, waiting for the water to drip down at a rate of 1 liter per hour, filling ice cube trays and then freezing them.

When I realize I’ve adapted and now walk behind my husband and don’t initiate handshakes with men.


When I can have massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, henna or waxing done in my living room.

When I shut the taxi door and pull my child onto my lap as I pray because there is no seatbelt. And the efficiency of the brakes is yet to be determined.

When I realize that I will lose another five good, kind, funny and special friends here in Dakar over the next three months.