Brad started working alongside the craftsmen on his wooden chair the other day at the artisan center. While there a French man came to buy some things. Not only was the man French, but he was a national handball player…
He told us about the match that night against the national Senegalese team. It wasn’t far away so we went to check it out. It was an outdoor court by the river. There were 5 games of High School teams, girls and guys, before the big ‘international’ match. It seemed more like a friendly game than cut-throat competition. French players were falling often on the dusty and slippery court… what can you do besides laugh it off?
Towards the end of the match a boy from the stands, probably 14 years old, stood up infront of everybody and started freestyle dancing. Talk about random. Nevertheless, he stole the show as the whole complex started clapping him a rythym and cheering. They even took a timeout for the players to watch.
mmmm… it’s nights like that when I love Senegal.
Thank you James!
my blog was broken for 2 weeks, leaving me unable to add posts. nevermind that, James fixed it and we’re back in buisness.
I’m still here in St Louis, and have settled into somewhat of a routine. Brad and I are ‘working’ at a horticulture school in the morning from 8-10ish. (less time if it’s hot… gotta love the hot climate work ethic)
after that it’s naps and staying cool for the afternoon until the world cup games start. By the way, tonight is a big match with France and Spain. Personally, I’m rooting for Germany.
Our proffessors suprised us with a visit yesterday, about a full week earlier than we’d expected. We went out to eat and they visited our homes. We also set up plans to visit the other students in southern villages in Senegal. We’ll embark on that adventure next Thursday and return the following Monday. With 2 full days of travelling in old peugeot taxis, it’s bound to be sketchy… therefore fun.
Yesterday we went with some of the students to sell some of the school’s cauliflower at the market. No one bought it. Heh… there was no demand for it with the natives. If its not rice, cabbage, fish, or onions… it’s not nessesary. They’ll have to take it over the bridge to the island where the Hotels and tourists buy it.
How could I forget? It rained last night… just a little. It knocked the humidity out of the air for a little, giving me a good morning of sleep.
I’m back in the same lame and sweaty cyber that I was in a week ago. It was strange to cross the bridge and enter Island and see familiar places from when we were here with the group… memories.
My new host family is awesome. My dad is an agro-engineer and designs irrigation, fertilization, and other sustainable farming techniques. I have 2 high-school age brothers and a 7 year old. Its a switch going from a household of girls to one full of guys.
Luckily our house is in a hamlet of St Louis and gets alot of wind. Add that to a mosquito net and fan and you get some decent nights of sleep.
The world cup started yesterday and there are atleast 2 games everyday from here on out. crazy. everyone watches the coup de monde, including me. I’m really glad that it’s this summer.
during our stay in Dakar, we’ve frequented the beach often. to be more specific, Yoff beach. Last night a guy who works there and has befriended us threw us a bonfire on the beach late at night, complete with freshly fried whole fish. There are some pictures of it up in the photo album.
in other cooking news, tonight I will attempt to make one of my favorite american meals… pancakes. It will have the senegalese twist of course, with fruit toppings (mango being one sort) instead of maple syrup. haha, wish me luck.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Dave and Keisha Schmidt! (who are no doubt tying the knot right now as I type)
I’m back in Dakar after a weekend in St Louis with the group. It was a worthwhile break from the capitol city and actually our first time seeing ‘non-Dakar’ Senegal. We drove by the houses and school where Brad and I will be spending the next 5 weeks. Honestly, at first it was scary. It was a city nothing like Dakar, where I knew nothing and no one. However, more than a day later I was starting to love the city that is a tenth the size of Dakar. It has much less noise, garbage, and sand (atleast on the Island sections).
We attended jazz performances in the evening while relaxing or touring the city during the day. When I return I hope to get involved in a Hospital, volunteering or something. I learned my lesson too late in Dakar with the deaf school. In the last 2 days that I’ve spent in Dakar, I’ve meet more familiar faces and friends on the street than the previous 5 weeks. Getting involved in essential, and I’m going to make myself do it. Alain assured me of some contacts he’s made for me to look into as far as the Hospital scene goes, which is great.
Other than that, alot of the time this weekend was spent in the air-conditioned, english-speaking, bubble of a bus, but it was time that I would not trade. Much laughter and conversation brought us closer to other students and [gasp]… our ‘adult leaders.’
oh, one more thing… when in a cyber in St Louis, I met an American couple, Jim and Sherri O’Neal, who are travelling around the world in 4×4′s during the next two years… really. They started in the UK, they’re looping around Africa, through Asia, Australia, over to South America and then back ‘home’ to the states. Check out their website at www.taleoftwotravellers.com
man… today more than ever I don’t want to leave Dakar yet.
After another delicious lunch, sitting on the floor and eating from the same community plate as always, we sat in the living room enjoying small talk, jokes, and ataaya. Meme, our 7-month old sister now sits on her own on the floor infront of us, reaching for toys. she is eager to pick them up, shake them, and smile.
It was in this heat that we were forced to leave the living room to make the 20 minute walk to school for our afternoon lecture. I really didn’t want to go. On the walk, however, I passed a student that I’d met at the deaf school today and yesterday. A familiar face is truly reason for excitement in the city. I know next to no signs as of yet, but I was able to finger-spell some simple french words to communicate. It didnt matter that I was so slow, it was a connection… that meant alot.
We leave tomorrow morning for St. Louis. 6:30am… please wait until I’m rested.