Great Senegal blog

Kari maintains the great blog Senegal Daily and maintains Dakar Eats, a wonderful resource for expats living in Senegal. She helped with this article in the magazine for Ethiopia Air. Check it out!

Fish as Feast

 

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Spin me a yarn

I loved seeing this gentleman at work this past spring at ISD during World Cultural Month and had the opportunity to chat with him, courtesy of a translator. He’s been weaving for 60 years. He is 75 years old. If you look closely at the pictures, you might be able to see that the loom is made from very old materials. I’m amazed it works as well as it does. I would definitely describe it as precariously put together. He needs to use his feet as well as his hands to make the whole thing work. The waft strings extend many feet away from the loom and were held by a large rock and log in place. His shirt was threadbare, strangely ironic. IMG_4064 IMG_4065 IMG_4066 IMG_4067 IMG_4068 IMG_4069He made placemats and table runners. The first picture is of his finished work.

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What I’m enjoying back in Ohio

walking my dog on sidewalks

smelling lilac in the air

wearing jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt and NOT SWEATING!!

driving without people passing me on the inside and outside of a two lane road

not having cars randomly park or stop in the middle of the road

very little honking

cheddar cheese!

Yuenling beer

time with family and friends

being surrounded by a language I understand

No one telling me they don’t have the right change–(How is that possible? You are a ‘fill-in-the-blank’ store

Not having to light my stove with a match-still scares me every time

My son loving the basketball hoop in our driveway and ESPN sports

Netflix

 

Other random things I’ve noticed:

Pollen is making me sneeze for the first time in my life. Must be 9 months with almost no pollen, makes your sinuses adjust

People are TIED to their cell phones in a way that I did not miss at all in Senegal

People text and drive here very frequently? Seriously? What’s the hurry

It’s lovely to be able to look something up on the internet and then make a phone call to that business and ask a question and understand the answer

Store clerks are impatient with my use of cash

 

I have not missed:
Smelly skunks!

Road kill! deer, raccoon, skunk, rabbit, ugh

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On the Corniche

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Kruger Park, South Africa, October 2012

Kruger Park, South Africa, Oct. 2012

Kruger Park, South Africa, Oct. 2012

I was fortunate enough to get to attend the AISA (Association of  International Schools in Africa) conference in Johannesburg, South Africa this past October. It was a wonderful professional experience and a welcome respite from Dakar’s heat.

One of the speakers was the author Beverly Naidoo, whose book Journey to Jo’Burg I began using my first year of teaching and used for many years in my classroom. She spoke of growing up white in South Africa during the time of apartheid, her exile from the country and her writing process. I felt so privileged to meet her. Journey to Jo’Burg is the story of two children, trying to make their way from their small village where there was no doctor for their sick sister, to their mother 300 km away in Jo’Burg where she worked as a housekeeper. It was a powerful story when I first read it and now even more so where I see what lengths some families still have to go through to be able to have both the employment and salary necessary to support their families, even at the most basic level.

The conference abutted a long weekend, so I was able to extend my visit to South Africa to include a trip to Kruger Park, about six hours away by car. Some of adventurous colleagues had planned the trip prior to my joining the staff and they were kind enough to allow me to join them. We stayed one night in a camp (like you’d find in a state park in Ohio) inside the park and one night in a lovely guest house right outside the park. While we never saw any wild cats, we saw many other animals. I especially loved the elephants and giraffes, both with babies in tow.

What an amazing experience. I only regretted not having my family with me to get to see the wonders with me.

Kruger Park, South Africa, Oct. 2012

Kruger Park, South Africa, Oct. 2012

Kruger Park, South Africa, Oct. 2012

Kruger Park, South Africa, Oct. 2012

Doesn't even look real

Doesn’t even look real

these hills were full of elephants

these hills were full of elephants

Guest House outside of Kruger

Guest House outside of Kruger

check out their crazy hair!

check out their crazy hair!

rhino ribs, who knew?

rhino ribs, who knew?

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First sighting within the park-so beautiful

First sighting within the park-so beautiful

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Vilage des art de Dakar

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go the Vilage des Art de Dakar (Dakar Art Village). Not that far from the area I live in, next to the soccer stadium, there is a small refuge away from the ‘cityness’ of Dakar. Shaded, with different little ‘houses’ with rooms for artists, the village has room for about 90 artists. We saw all different mediums being worked in from works larger than us made from wood and metal to glass painting to photography. Each room was a different artist and their work. Most of the artists lived in the same room as their work space.

The visit was nice timing as this week was Senegalese artist week, part of World Cultural Month. The elementary students had different Senegalese artists come and work with them in the style of the artist’s work. We had glass painting, recycled art, batik, and pottery.

Vilage des Arts de Dakar

Vilage des Arts de Dakar

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outside of gallery

outside of gallery

main artist display

main artist display

main artist display

main artist display

main artist display

main artist display

main artist display

main artist display

shade outdoor work areas

shade outdoor work areas

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painted glass-hubcap frame

painted glass-hubcap frame

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recently art opening in Paris

recently art opening in Paris

many artists live in their workspace

many artists live in their workspace

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Growing Papaya ‘Trees’?? Things I wonder about

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papaya plant

I thought I’d write about these bizarre looking plants that showed up in my ‘yard’ earlier this school year and have just kept growing. It was almost if they weren’t there one day and then the next they were knee-high with many stems of large leaves.

Here’s a lovely encyclopedia like illustration from Wikipedia in case you aren’t sure what a papaya is or looks like. I will say it was not part of my daily fruit intake in Ohio, although my mother-in-law lpapayaiked to put them in fruit salad in the summer, which I would then try not to get in my serving.

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papaya stem

This plant has just kept growing. I have one out front and four in the back yard. They have the most bizarre looking stem with brown-ish speckles and slash-like brown ‘scars’ along the stem. Each stem has one very large leaf on it. I could try to impress you and pull out all my fourth grade plant knowledge and classify the leaf, the plant, etc. but even I, who is looking at the plant as I write, is not interested in that.

While I was opening the windows this morning I noticed that one of the pIMG_3977apayas out back has a flower on the stem and the beginning of a round-fruit. That specific one has gotten so tall it extends past the top of the window. I’m not sure my little backyard can support having four large papaya plants, but I can see how it will provide   someIMG_3976 nice shade.

Peering out my other windows, I notice that one of theIMG_3978 plants has tens of little flowers on the stem. I wonder how long it takes for a papaya fruit to grow and if there is any special care the plant needs. It’s been left to its own devices with some watering every now and then from my day guard and seems to be growing like gangbusters.

I will admit I was a little disappointed it was a papaya ‘tree’ growing in my yard when I first found out what it was. I really had hoped for a lime tree, an orange tree, or banana so I could ENJOY eating fruit from my own tree. Some of my colleagues have those in their yards and I loved the idea of having something I could eat with enjoyment.

Other random things I’ve found out about my papaya plant:

  • Some countries call them pawpaws
  • The male and female flowers look different from each other-I think I am seeing female flowers
  • It can grow to 30 feet tall
  • The stem is hollow
  • Papaya flowers have a good smell
  • You can cook the green, unripe papayas for some dishes
  • There is even some kind of game where you grow papayas found a wiki for how to grow them virtually for some game called Rune Scape (WEIRD!)
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