Frankie goes to Saint Louis

After the most probably stressful and busiest terms of my life, term two finally finished with the standard last minute creation and setting of exams. I marked my students’ exams in record speed because a certain friend called Frankie was coming to visit Dakar!

Frankie flew in on the Saturday night at about 10pm, and Mr Sané insisted on picking me up and feeding me at his first wives house and then picking Frankie up at the airport.  On reflection, that was a massive blessing as the taxi men at the airport would take one look at two Toubabs with luggage and charge me the earth to get home! Also, as the lift in my apartment block is in the very slow process of being fixed it meant Mr Sané could carry Frankies luggage up the stairs…

As soon as she got here it felt normal! It was just like being back at Uni when we would do absolutely nothing. It was however a bizarre experience being the tour guide AND translator seeing as my French isn’t that good! I decided to fill up every moment with something as she wasn’t here for long. I think she travelled on every mode of transport possible. We visited Ngor island on a piroque boat. Then we went to Saint Louis in a sept place, which aren’t the most comfortable, but are very cheap. I’m not convinced Frankie quite enjoyed the journey:

Becca: Were here, are you excited?

Frankie: All I wanna do is be able to move my legs, the rest is a bonus…

A very nice man did buy us many peanuts though! Saint Louis is a beautiful city on two islands with very European architecture, and we were very lucky to stay with my director’s friend, and have Chiby, his nephew and some of his cousins as tour guides! I definitely want to visit again if I get the chance for one of its many music festivals.

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Now, a piece of advice; avoid travelling on a sept place at night. We were unlucky enough to be sitting in the back which is never a comfortable experience; however the best is yet to come. Our crazy driver who was already driving at a crazy speed forgot to slow down for one of the many speed bumps on the way home, sending us flying inside this ancient car! I’m so sure I was concussed and I still have a bump to this day. Everyone made it back to Dakar in one piece just about, though I’m still wondering how…..

The next day we visited Gorée Island, this time on a little ferry. There is so much history on this little island as it was one of the places where slaves were processed before being sent to America, in the ‘House of slaves’, however I’ve also heard that this is not true. I think it is good to have a reminder of the slave trade. Unfortunately all the information in the Museum was in French so we just looked at the pictures.

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We also visited Lac Rose, which was much pinker this time, and then found the best beach in Dakar. The icing on the cake was most probably Vickie flying back from the UK to return for the last term a day before Frankie left. This meant I was not left alone! However, now I’m sad. We started back at work on Thursday, and although I love it and it was so good to see my students, I much prefer being at the beach or at a bar with a G&T. I guess that’s what the weekends are for! And the next holiday in 10 weeks time, not that I’m counting!


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