So the time has come to return to the home of real bacon and rain for a short while. Yes it has been the most challenging year so far but all in all I have loved it. I love the people, the food, the beaches. I’ve made some amazing friends from everywhere which means so many new places in the world to visit! Surprise surprise I didn’t get ebola, and neither did anyone else in Senegal.
The lovely Alicia asked me a few days ago whether i think I’ve changed or learnt anything since being here. Well I’m really not sure! But maybe the following….
- Whether you are a believer or not, I truly believe that some events recently can in no way be coincidence and I have felt ridiculously safe ever since I arrived. All God.
- Patience. I’ll always have ‘Gatland blood’ in me but I am definitely much more relaxed, which is pretty useful seeing as things tend to start hours later than planned. If I am waiting for what feels like forever, then rather than seething from the inside out, now I’ll just chill, maybe start a conversation with whoever is nearest and most receptive, or play Sudoku on my Senegalese phone. Or get a nap in.
- I LOVE haggling! Im now used to the harassment on the street and Im super proud of the bargains obtained.
- (Nearly) make up free. I used to cake it on everyday but now a bit of mascara and I’m good to go. I would normally go through a tube of BB cream every two months, but I’ve had the same one all the ten months. Saved hella money.
- I am no longer reliant on dry shampoo! These days I just wash my hair like a normal person.
As for my Dakar bucket list, pretty much done apart from nice cream (definately got three 3 quarters)
Try the Viking – apparently it’s the closest thing Dakar has to a pub! Go for a run along the corniche. I am ridiculously close to a verrryyyy long stretch of beautiful coastline, but it isn’t very safe for a woman to run on their own. (2.5: find someone stupid enough to run with me). Try Henna, I’ve noticed alot of what could be Henna art on nails. Learn more Wolof than ‘Hello how are you….my name is….. yes’. Go to Saint Louis. Go surfing and try not to drown.(Kind of!!) Go to the Bandia Reserve and see actual animals. Have enough time to have all 3 rounds of attire (Mint tea with hella sugar). Be able to have a full conversation in French (I’m very close believe it or not!).I may not be fluent but I can hold my own. Cook thieboudienne and Marfé.I have cooked thiebouginuarrr!! Be brave enough to get a haircut. I have way too much hair already and summer is coming! Buy lots of peanuts and give to Talibe boys regularly.As often as possible! Go to Ile de Gorée. Survive the BSI English day, which is most likely going to be in The Daniel Sorano Theatre… eeek!The less said the better!
- Try every flavour of ice cream in N’ice cream! (Definately managed three quarters!)
- Visit every market in Dakar. I love bargaining! Just not enough hours in the day, and on my salary may not have been wise.
Not bad! So Dakar, Jerejef waiii its been a blast. Hope to see you again soon!