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5 things not to say to me in hot season

“Oh, it gets that hot here too.”
Yes, it probably does. Dakar’s highs are generally only in the upper 90s. But factor in the humidity and you’re looking at a RealFeel of well over 100 degrees every day. For three months or more. And very, very few places with AC. But plenty of places with power and water cuts.

But yes, it probably does get to the upper 90s where you live too.


“I wish I could go to the beach every day.”
It’s true. We have a gorgeous ocean view. (Possibly the best kind of view even because being 500m from the coast means we don’t see the trash or smell the fish.) But unless you just lo-o-ove sweating, going to the beach is actually more of a cool weather activity around here.


“You look hot.”
Unless this is the double T version and said by my husband… there is no need to state the obvious. We all look hot.


“It’ll cool down soon.”
No ma’am, it won’t. As temperatures in the US and Europe start to fall (pardon the pun) ours are just warming up (bada-boom!).


“Pumpkin Spice Latte.”
Just don’t. It’s bordering on cruel. And while you’re at it, avoid mentioning dressing in layers, any recipes that require baking, accessorizing with a scarf and the word ‘crisp’.

Inspiration for this post brought to you by a power cut and feverish kiddos. My mood should improve as soon once I open the freezer for some popsicles and turn on the water pump for a shower.

How to send money with Wari


1. Take your Senegal residency ID or passport and cash to the nearest buutik or shop boasting a green and white Wari sign.

2. Greet people in the room with a general, “Salam malecum.” Continue reading “How to send money with Wari”

So, about the Dakar Women’s Group…

As a current member and former executive committee member of the Dakar Women’s Group, aka ‘the DWG’, I have some insights that I would like to share. These are my thoughts and may or may not be shared by the Dakar Women’s Group, but I’m in a privileged place to be able to speak based on experience, understanding and also frustration.


Continue reading “So, about the Dakar Women’s Group…”

Diarama

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Getting my leather sandals repaired on the side of route de Ouakam. He gave me a loaner sandal and a stool in the shade while I wait. Sometimes life in Dakar is just beyond fantastic.

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Also getting a free Pulaar lesson while I sit here.

My summer rules for the kiddos 

Summer spots

1. You may watch either one hour of TV a day… or two hours if the show/movie is in French. Eh oui !

2. Spending money can be earned. See the list of jobs and pay rates posted on the fridge. (Follow-up rule: You may buy as many lollipops from the buutik as you want with your money, but may eat only one a day.)

Summer Camp crafts. I am loved by a 4yo boy.

3. I will take you to Summer Camp in the morning and somewhere to play with other kids a couple afternoons a week. When you are at home, create your own fun. Continue reading “My summer rules for the kiddos “

Giving life

This morning as I finished running and came back into our neighborhood, I saw one of the homeless men digging in a large barrel trash can.

He waved. I waved. I recognized him as the mute man we used to see walking in the morning. 

He went back to picking through garbage for a split second, then looked up at my sweat-drenched self again. His face lit up and he reached into the canvas shopping bag on his shoulder and pulled out a glass bottle half-filled with water and motioned for me to drink if I wanted to. 

I raised my hands and clasped them in front of my face, sending back a wordless Senegalese greeting and thanks. 

We all have something to give, something to share. 

10 commandments for life in Senegal

1. You shall have no other name but the Senegalese one given to you. (Don’t have on yet? Just ask. But be prepared for it to stick!)

2. You shall not make or do anything with your left hand. Continue reading “10 commandments for life in Senegal”

Respecting Ramadan and our fasting friends

sm Khady praying

“Oh, that smells awesome. I’m so hungry!”

I said it without thinking and immediately wished I could have swallowed my words before they made it out of my mouth. Today was the first day of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, and less than six hours into it, I had already goofed and said something rather inconsiderate in front of my Muslim friend who was abstaining from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset for the next 29 or 30 (depending on the moon) days.

The conversation that followed though really helped me to understand some ways that we as non-Muslims can respect Ramadan and our fasting friends. In a country that’s more than 95% Muslim, Ramadan is a big deal and affects nearly every aspect of life for one month a year. Continue reading “Respecting Ramadan and our fasting friends”

Welcoming hot season with open arms…

… and an extra swipe of deodorant. ‘Cause it’s here y’all. And its friends Humid, Muggy and Piercing Sun will be along soon.

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But in case you need a few reasons to get excited about the arrival of Dakar’s brightest season, here you go: Continue reading “Welcoming hot season with open arms…”

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