Okay. Woah. Hold on.  Universe, I need you to slow your roll.

Somewhere over the Mediterranean (crazy flight pattern because Libya closed it’s airspace) we hit a warp-speed portal and everything since has happened in double-time.

It’s Sunday night, day 8 in country, and its the first time I have had a chance to catch up and slow down.  Time to think about what’s going on, where I am and how I feel about all of it. I’ve had 8 hours of sleep, a good meal and a long walk along the ocean.  My proverbial ducks are in a row…though this is Dakar so they should be goats. My goats are in a row.

MBBaAAAAA!

(That’s what my goats sound like in writing.)

Goats and a haircut - now that's one stop shopping!

That’s not to say I’ve done everything I needed to do this weekend. I still have to:

  • Do my taxes
  • Submit my pre-departure expenses
  • Write encouraging love-notes to each student
  • Make the homestay pairings for Argentina
  • Give a colleague some (not so loving from students) feedback
  • Write the programs “Letter home” form India
  • Buy aloe – for all my students who forgot they were IN AFRICA where, once in a while, you know, sometimes, or EVERYDAY there is a LOT OF SUN!!
  • And sleep.

On that note….HI Guys!!!  I’m in Dakar which is in Senegal which is in Africa! I switched continents while you weren’t looking. Sneaky girl.

This is my Happy Ocean Face! (It’s also my Ohmiggod-that-was-a-really-long-flight-and-I-slept-exactly-zero-hours face)

Dakar is wonderful.  Not only does it have an ocean, it has about 10 million less people then Delhi.  Scale matters.

Dakar is accessible in a way Delhi is not.  First of all, it’s walkable.  Within 48 hours of arriving I had figured out how to navigate the 50 minute walk to school and where the nearest places are to buy fruit, yogurt, veggies and wine. It took me three weeks to do that in Delhi.  Second, people don’t stare at you the way they do in Delhi.  While my white American-ness makes me stand out even more here, there are not the same standards of open stares and vendor harassment.  In Delhi taxis, rickshaws, vendors and street children follow you for blocks. Here you smile – “Salaam Alakuum” or “Bonjor” or “Nangadef” – shake your head gently. They reply – “walakumm salaam” or “Sava?” or “Manga fi rekk”  and that’s it.  Interaction complete.  Human to human.

Lastly, the buses look like this:

Car Rapides - Dakar's public transit.

And how can that not make you happy every time you get on.

Also…We get to eat with our hands.

 

 

 

I can’t put my finger on why, but I like Dakar so much.

Yay-town.

Melanie

Playing in my head all country long: All this Beauty, The Weepeies

Currently reading: Apartment listings for Argentina – I’m broke and trying to stay for two months!  Ahhh!

Still reading: Imagined communities – exactly where I was a week ago.

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