Both the bowl of sunset-orange mango slices sitting next to my laptop and the Friday call to prayer echoing through my apartment would suggest that I am finally back in Senegal. :)
In some ways, it feels like I was never really gone. Dakar is just as I left it. The glaring lack of distinct seasons makes it difficult to mark the passing of time-and a very slow, relaxed culture translates into little change over the course of mere months. It will, however, be interesting to attempt to catch up to speed with ministry and the lives of my team.
While leaving was difficult [more on goodbyes later], seeing my team again was glorious. After the unexpected mayhem that has been the past several months of my life, tackle hugging the five people that feel like family was a relaxing, calming elixir. After creating a scene at the airport [the fact that not one of us got arrested left me both surprised and disappointed], we crammed six STINTers, one taxi driver, and two oversized suitcases full of American goodies into a Smurf-sized
clown car taxi. It was a feat of gargantuan proportions-if all else fails, we each have promising futures in the magic business! Or we will, as soon as we perfect the whole rabbit out of a hat thing…
In a cloud of exhaust and heat, we slowly sputtered through the city and before I knew what had happened, we were in my living room unpacking an absolutely embarrassing amount of macaroni and cheese. And while thirteen boxes may sound rather excessive to you, that’s nothing next to the endless stacks of granola bars I managed to stuff into my carry-on. [If my chiropractor is reading: I’m sorry.] Then my team left for work, and one very exhausted, caffeine-deprived brunette stumbled to her mat on the floor and slept for the better part of seven hours. My mat which, by the way, Christy and Michelle had washed for me. Clean
sheets in Dakar are like cigarettes in prison.
The power has been cut off four times in the past 36 hours-an unfortunate reality that apparently has been the norm as of late. Professors are on strike at the University [more on that later], and the students are staging protests. Political demonstrations planned in the city tomorrow by two opposing parties mean that we’ll spend the better part of day inside to ensure that everyone stays alive. [Because that’s how our Mamas like us.]
Clearly, we’re back with our regular programming. Stay tuned!