Senegal Daily

Khady reporting

The difference one letter makes…

One letter in one word changed this story completely…

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When I go for longer runs, all I take with me are a few coins for buying a bottle of water and taxi fare to get back from wherever I end up. This morning’s run ended right at a taxi stand where about 15 cars were parked. Some of the drivers were asleep in their backseats with their legs stetching out of open passenger doors. The others were sitting around a small table on wobbly wooden benches eating egg sandwiches on baguette. This little tangana café shared a wall with a buutik, a tiny shop carrying a crazy number of items in such a small space.

I greeted the drivers eating breakfast, answered a few questions including my name (I’ve learned to rely ‘Madame Diop’ rather than ‘Khady’ as it shuts down any further questions about my marital status or interest in something on the side) and walked to the open window of the buutik. More greetings. And then I asked to buy water.

Well, kind of. Continue reading “The difference one letter makes…”

Bathing suit shopping, Dakar style

I post in the Gazelle Skirt Facebook group asking where to buy bathing suits in Dakar.

My friend Mirna replied that there’s a guy who will come to your house with a big bag of new bathing suits, all for the same price. She gives me his phone number.

I call Ousmane on my way home from picking up the kids at school and arrange for him to be at my house in an hour. Also post on Facebook that others are welcome to come shop.

Continue reading “Bathing suit shopping, Dakar style”

Bad ideas

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Putting shea butter on your skin right before going to a sandy beach.

Thinking you can handle the heat of the whole piment popped in your mouth.

Thinking you can handle attaya poured straight out of the barada without cooling it off by slurping it through your teeth as you drink it.

Wearing white.

Running with noise canceling headphones on the Corniche. (Seriously people.)

Letting yourself run out of matches. Or coffee.

Drinking any alcohol produced in Rufisque. (For the record, this was learned secondhand.)

On the other end of the spectrum (😂), drinking bissap that has been stored in a brake fluid bottle. #beenthere #donethat

Getting the wetsuit on before asking the child if they need to pee.

Sideways leaning taxis. ‘Cause you know there’s no seatbelt in that thing to keep you from sliiiiding over…

Wondering where puddles come from… when it’s not rainy season.

Any variation of this, said to an vendor at HLM: “I’ve never bought this kind of fabric before. What does it cost?”

Pink toilet paper. It’s just wrong. And bad.

Getting rid of those reserve buckets because ‘the water has gotten so much better!’ #famouslastwords #keurmomarsarrstrikesagain

Widows + Lent + Big Plans

This morning while working on some branding and new product development, I narrowed down what makes me passionate about these kinds of projects.

1. Sources materials locally – and preferably from someone’s garbage bin.

2. Provides sustainable income for artisans.

3. Creates an end product that I would use for myself or my family.


Nothing earth-shattering or shocking. But sometimes reminding myself of the basics and my boundaries is a good idea.

Stay tuned. New business launch coming soon… But in the meantime, let me tell you about the pre-launch fundraising. Continue reading “Widows + Lent + Big Plans”

Navigating a visit to the US Embassy in Dakar

Passport renewal time!

Tip #1 Do not go the US Embassy website for information using your smartphone. Why? Because the mobile layout may not include some sidebar information, such as the very important fact that American citizens must make an appointment for all Consular services. The same goes for Googling the answer to your question.

No. Don’t do this. Don’t click on these.

Continue reading “Navigating a visit to the US Embassy in Dakar”

8 favorite games for kids in Dakar

Chicken, Chicken, Goat

The object of this game is to walk in a circle, tapping on each child’s head until one is finally chosen to be the new picker. Maa!

Gendarmes and Voleurs

A game of tag in which the gendarmes, who are in pursuit of the voleurs (the team being chased), arrest the voleurs by tagging and putting them in Reubeuss jail. Voleurs can stage a jailbreak by tagging one of the prisoners without getting tagged themselves.

Mamadou Diop Continue reading “8 favorite games for kids in Dakar”

SUP with Surfers Paradise


I’m not what you’d call ‘sporty’ or ‘athletic’. Some people mistakenly think I am because I’m a runner, but they don’t realize how often I fall. As far as competitive sports or anything too crazy-adventurous, I’m perfectly happy to sit and observe. Really. (So I was not exactly crushed to find out the Jungle Run was cancelled for this year. Shucks.)


However, I have found my perfect outdoorsy water sporty thing: stand-up paddle boarding. SUP. Continue reading “SUP with Surfers Paradise”

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


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”

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