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It’s 2017, and my Wolof is still bad. 

After celebrating the end of 2016 in true-to-ourselves fashion by going to bed early, I got up yesterday morning and went for my usual run.

As I passed our friend who lives (literally) on the street, he waved me over so I stopped to say hi.  We exchanged greetings, Happy New Year wishes, I asked why there was a dead sheep in the road, he said he didn’t know…

50cfa, about 10 cents

As I got ready to take off, he reached out and placed a 50cfa coin in my hand and asked me to take it up the street to the peul up the road. (Or at least that’s what I thought he said, seeing as he is missing quite a few teeth. A peul is a person from the Fulbe ethnic group.)

Continue reading “It’s 2017, and my Wolof is still bad. “

17 things I’d like to see in Dakar in 2017

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Fresh coconuts abound on pushcarts around town. But I’d like to see someone get into the coconut delivery business. “Hello? Four coconuts nan mandi for Mermoz, please.”

More (fun!) businesses coming into that little section of Point E that Minibap, CityDia, La Boucherie Nouvelle and Auchan have claimed.

A monthly artisan market, like a cross between the Dakar Farmers Market and the various Christmas markets.

Me learning and using more Wolof. Continue reading “17 things I’d like to see in Dakar in 2017”

Harmattan activities: fun for the whole family!

Harmattan
Dust accumulated on my bookshelf in 24 hours. With all doors and windows closed.

Every morning we wake up to a new view of the Sahel Desert from in our apartment. The Harmattan winds blow the sand in grain by grain and January is peak ‘dust season’. Even my weather app just says DUST for every day’s forecast. Well, some days it says WIDESPREAD DUST.  But don’t worry, I’ve compiled….

Harmattan activities: fun for the whole family!

1. Make dust angels on the living room floor.

2. Write declarations of your undying love to your in the dust on your countertops. Bonus points for using a wet finger to make muddy ink.

3. Place bets on which room has the most dust on the floor. Sweep each one, then compare. Winner gets a clean house. For half an hour until more dust blows in.

4. Redecorate your home in sandy hues. This requires no activity on your part whatsoever.

5. Do a little Harmattan workout.

6. Write ‘wash me’ on the dishes that have been sitting by the sink since morning.

7. Be thankful every day that it’s Harmattan and not hot season. Dust washes off. Sweat… well, sweat washes off too. But I’d rather be dusty and wearing a hoodie while sipping my steaming café au lait.

10 ideas for stocking stuffers in Dakar

– Chocolate-filled Biskrem cookies from the buutik

Huile de Baobab Bio for skin, nails and hair. Amazing stuff. Available at most pharmacies and Christmas markets.

– Roasted cashews or sugared peanuts

– Knock-off cologne/perfume. (I know. The guy you buy from sells only real stuff. But look hard and you’ll find someone selling the fakes.)

– Vermox. January 1st and July 4th are de-worming days!

– Beaded necklace from marché Sandaga or the artisan market at Soumbedioune

– Dried mango or dried coconut snacks

– 1 meter of a crazy wax print or pagne tissé fabric for making something unique

– Orange phone credit card

– Moringa powder to kick-start a healthy 2017!

– Woven drink coasters from the basket-makers

– Clementine (obviously)

– 1500cfa sunglasses from a street vendor

– Small jar of sauce piment 🌶 

Toy car rapide. (Makes a cute paperweight or Christmas ornament too!)

Need a stocking to stuff? Fatou Jobe makes the prettiest ones in town! And a great prices too. imadi.dakar@gmail.com or 773437769. 

#christmasinthesaheldesert

Shopping the Foire International de Dakar (FIDAK)

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Let’s start at the beginning… What is FIDAK? It’s the annual Foire International de Dakar, a giant trade fair and market with goods from around the globe. And you should go. Continue reading “Shopping the Foire International de Dakar (FIDAK)”

Fight Club with Idy

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Idy Camara, photo by Bruno Col

I’m not talking about Fight Club. I’m writing about Idy Camara and his various ‘fighting lessons’ that he offers in Dakar.

Idy is a heavy-weight kickboxer from the Mermoz club ‘Police’ who trains and coaches kickboxing and boxing and teaches self-defense classes to individuals and small groups. And just in case you think you’re in shape because you run, I can assure you that the boxing is an intense cardio workout! #somuchsweat But it can be fun for the whole family! 😉

Continue reading “Fight Club with Idy”

Welcome (to our) home.

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Frames from Orca, prints of historic Saint-Louis (Ndar) from a expired calendar.
My friend Moira over at Palm Tree Tea did this amazing post giving a tour of her Dakar apartment and how she has made it their home. I loved it. I immediately wanted to do one. And then I didn’t want to because it seemed too personal. And then I did because I love seeing other people’s homes… You get the idea. But what actually convinced me was an article I read on why we should regularly photograph the places/spaces we live because it all changes so quickly.

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Mirror, chairs and animal carvings purchased in Dakar, China cabinet from Cote d’Ivoire.
Easier said than done, sama xarit. Capturing your space looking as it does when you live in it but not looking like a total disaster (ahem, nod to the kiddos)… Not so simple. But it was a fun challenge to tackle, and these are the ones I felt like sharing. Continue reading “Welcome (to our) home.”

The Corniche: have you heard?

The big news in town is that a food court is going in on the Corniche Ouest, the coastal road that runs from Terrou-Bi hotel up to Almadies via Fann, Fenêtre Mermoz, Ouakam and Mamelles. And this food court will have… a McDonald’s and a Starbucks!

Not really. I just needed to get your attention. When you’re done hating me, please keep reading. (However, I stand by my prediction that Dakar will get a real KFC, Subway and/or Burger King soon.)

I spend a lot of time on the Corniche road and am continually surprised by how many people, especially women, appear to be unaware of the security risks. Continue reading “The Corniche: have you heard?”

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