Sorry Ive been MIA lately. I had the amazing blessing/priviledge/opportunity to spend some wonderful weeks with my best friend Molly, who came to visit from the States. It was so great to be able to see Africa through new eyes, and I got to see a little bit of what I was probably like when I first arrived. She doesnt speak any French or Wolof (but great Spanish), so I had to play tour guide. It was great! She got to meet my friends and visit my haunts and do all that is normal life for me, including showering in a bucket, peeing in a hole, making attayah, listening to the sounds of the mosques every day, and doing lots of sweating.
Some highlights from her visit, in no particular order:
-Picking her up from the airport in a giant, sea-foam-green traditional Senegalese dress. Seeing her across the parking lot, I knew it was love.
-talking late into the night and eating the stash of chocolate that my mom sent with her. Because of a mix-up in our reservations, we got to stay at a beautiful and cheap hotel right on the beach, complete with a balcony and breakfast nook.
-We took a pirouge to the Ile de Ngor and hung out on the beach. We also visited Akon and El Hadj Diouf's house. I guess they're roomies in this huge mansion on the island.
-We walked all around downtown and like the nerd I am, I took her to see all the government buildings (sorry Molls). We went to Marche Sandaga where she bought truly Senegalese jeans and fabric for the tailor. It was an adventure and we found ourselves in a dank Senegalese bar with dear old Moussa Kane.
-taking Sept Places to St Louis and back. traveling in style.
-Attayah lessons with Omar. I have never made 4 rounds of attayah before she came.
-We went camping in the back of the truck at Zebrabar. I havent laughed that hard in a very very long time. "You just a 'pidge wit no coups.", "Dafa cameltoe quoi." ....her Wolof is improving.
-Eating ungodly amounts of mangoes.
-She got to participate in the Weekend du Village = a huge party for our group of dorms that included dances, speech contests about Homosexuality, tshirts with our names on them, and fancy prom dinners that started at 3am.
-Ah yes, the soiree at Lazer.
-She got to eat cebbu jen bu neex at my wolof teacher's house.
-American slang lessons with Omar and Magueye. I think they finally understood that "bootylicious" translates to "djaefundae" in Wolof. The teachable moment, thank you Beyonce.
-Questions for Freddy, with some reggae dance lessons on the side
-going to the Pumps Beach in Dakar, eating Magnum bars. Mmmm...Yes please.
-The day at the zoo with the little girl who came to see me, the toubab, as the animal in the cage.
-Careful, Your bin-bins show when you pray.
-Surfing at virage. Im still sore, but it was great to be back there.
-Psyching out the Resto staff. Anyway, all us toubabs look the same.
-baking brownies for a going away party chez Omar.
-getting clothes tailored at Youssou's.
-Shouting over the Bayfall party. watching them drop like flies during the course of the night.
-Prayer walks on pumps beach. Clearing the mind and soul.
-"Dafa lame quoi"
-TIA taxis getting her luggage stuck in the trunk when she has to catch her flight.
-Tears in the airport reminding me of my love for her and all my homies and of my own all-too-soon departure.
-African sunrises and African sunsets
All in all, it was a lovely and amazing time. Definetly one of my highlights here. I'm so excited to reconnect with all of my friends when I get to the US. But right now, I am just trying not to think about leaving Senegal. If I think about it, I start to choke up. June 24 is a long time from now, right?
Anyway, in other news, I'm happy to announce that Senegal is now in Mango season. I eat about 10 a day. My favorite recipe of the moment is to mash it up and cook it down with some milk, vanilla sugar and salt and make a sort of mango compote and put it over yogurt or GF crackers when its still warm. Yums! We have to get creative here in Senegal.
There's no internet on campus for the past week+, so Im in town at a cafe, distracted from writing the 4 papers due this week. Yesterday my friend Branton came to St Louis to visit Jill and I/explore west Africa. He too is eating at Pap Laye's right now, but I think soon I will be playing tour guide.
Peace and love to you all, strangers.