Long story short, we spent the night at an airBnB in Ngaparou because we got caught in traffic for a Gamou (pilgrimage) type event trying to get back to Dakar today. (No, this wasn’t the Catholic pilgrimage to Popenguine just a few miles away on the same weekend. We knew about that one.) There was a Muslim pilgrimage at Nguekokh near Bandia. Insane. So. Many. People.

We sat and sat and sat in traffic, barely centimetering forward, after a day adventuring with our friends who arrived in Senegal recently and were now stuck in the traffic in the car behind us as people, motorcycles, cars, trucks and more swam past us like a school of fish swimming in the opposite direction. Oops.


We were advised to turn around and wait it out in Saly for the night, so with the four kids under age five in tow… that’s what we did!


Thankfully we were decently prepared for such an unplanned adventure addendum.

Here’s what we had going for us:

– changes of clothes for the kids
– a diaper found in the car
– plenty of water
– BeerSheba beef jerky and packages of dates for giving to police officers if stopped –> emergency snack for kids
– extra Orange phone credit for buying Internet passes, used for finding hotels nearby and Google Maps
– full tank of gas
– Kelly and I were wearing flowy chaya pants, which meant we were appropriately covered if we needed to hop out of the car in the middle of a pilgrimage.

But I can assure you that I will never ever leave Dakar again without considering:

– full changes of clothes for everyone
– snack food and water for 24hrs
– extra phone credit
– passports
– CFA cash
– essential nightime medicines, stuffed animals, contact case/solution, diapers, etc…


If you’re ever in such a situation, keep in mind that the little buutiks often carry toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap, as well as food items such as pasta, sardines and canned peas for quick meal and bread, eggs, UHT milk, sugar, Nescafé and tea for breakfast.

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