This weekend gets an A
On Saturday Shannon and I did some shopping at the Artisanal Village. I got myself a pretty necklace and a marriage proposal from one of the vendors. After some successful and not so successful haggling, Shannon and I met Alex and Clare downtown at the French Cultural Center where we had some the most amazing coffee ever. Well, maybe it’s not the most amazing coffee ever. Actually, it’s just freshly brewed coffee, but still, it is so much better than Nescafe. Oh Nescafe, why are you soooooo bad?
After coffee Clare and Shannon decided they needed some real food we off we went to LGM for some pizza and ice cream stuff. I had a yummy mango coconut milkshake and paid the price for being lactose intolerant the rest of the afternoon.
We walked all around downtown shopping. The city was basically deserted because the Senegalese soccer team was playing Togo at the stadium. Whoever wasn’t at the game was at home watching it, and the few people watching their shops had at least one ear firmly glued to a short-wave radio. The best find of the day was getting fresh cilantro! Cilantro!!! I was soooo excited. Here it is called Chinese Parsley, but whatever! And did you know that cilantro is the same thing as fresh corriander? The things I learn! Last night we made fresh salsa. Such a welcome change from ceeb or pasta.
Yesterday Shannon, Alex and his friend, Issac and I went to Ngor. It has become a Sunday ritual to spend the day at the beach. Sometimes life in Senegal can be so rough. Ngor is a little island off the main beach not far our volunteer apartment. We pay a $1 for a boat to take us out to the island. It is beautiful with a nice view of the mainland. However, our little ritual was somewhat tainted yesterday by the hundreds and hundreds of Senegalese who flocked to the island in the afternoon. I was sure that there was a festival or a party or something. The little island was overrun with people. Our little happy beach was teeming with beach-goers.
Shannon and I were crowded off our towels because about 35 men decided to have a push-up contest right next us. Biceps were bulging. Egos were on the line and it was all highly ridiculous. I asked one of the contestants what the big deal was. Why was everyone on the beach. The response, “Oh, people are coming to the beach because it is hot!” Well, of course it is hot. It’s Senegal. I failed to see why this weekend is officially the beginning of the hot season when last weekend, which was just as hot, was not somehow considered worthy of a mass exodus of people toward the beaches of Dakar.
Shannon is leaving tonight to go back to Oregon for three weeks. It somehow seems unfair that she will get soy latte love and hot water showers with water pressure (!!) a month before I do. To ease the pain of parting, Shannon promises to make some yummy sandwiches for dinner.
I am happy as a clam to be going on vacation later this week. The countdown to Mali has resumed.