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Vol. 7, No. 11 | The Senegal Edition
I spent all of last week in Senegal (West Africa). I have a lot of takeaways from this trip so I’m going to just jump right into it so that this isnt’ too long.
Drink what’s closest to you. For some reason, my boyfriend insisted on asking people what tequila they had. Sir, do you realize how far we are from Mexico? Get into these French and South African wines and cognac.
I’m amazed at how popular caipirinhas are worldwide. Every cocktail menu in Senegal had a caipirinha on it. I noticed the same thing in Costa Rica. In Kenya, they remixed it with the “Dawa”, but it’s basically a vodka caipirinha (hence, a caipiroska). I mean this is for good reason Capirinhas are delicious. I just find it interesting because I never (rarely) see it here.
I had to work entirely too hard to find the national dish thieboudienne (pronounced ‘chebu-jen’). It’s like being in Atlanta and not being able to get lemon pepper wings. Every menu felt the same…fresh fish (win) with pastas and other European specialties. Why is there so much pasta and pizza?!
When I finally found thieboudienne, my conclusion was that Ghana is winning the battle of the jollof rice. Yup, I said it.
I visisted the Loman Art House and the owner was in the middle of one of the rooms doing a giant jigsaw puzzle. The peacefulness of it filled me with joy.
In general, I’d go back to Dakar just for the art alone. Sadly, I didn’t get to exlpore the galleries like I wanted to so I didn’t get to bring back any art, but it was everywhere in different forms.
Flies. Millions and millions of flies. Do ya’ll remember Jamie Foxx’s I Might Need Security stand up? He does this skit where he talks about all the flies in Africa. This was my fourth African country and until this trip I had no idea what he was talking about. There were sooo many flies. If you look at my Instagram stories you’ll see all these beautiful photos. Just know that I was swatting away 20-30 flies in just about every shot.
I went to France in June and my 10 French words were plenty. In Senegal? Not at all. I can’t remember the last time I had such a language barrier while traveling.
The hustlers always spoke English though. I’m not saying that everyone that spoke English was a hustler…but if you speak perfect English and you’re not American, I’m walking away.
I owe Delta a pointed email about the planes that they’re flying to African countries. Our plane was so old. I didn’t even know that they still had such aircrafts moving about in the sky. A few months ago, Ghana banned Delta from flying a certain aircraft in their airspace and every African country should follow suit. It’s shameful.
I wrote in my notes “bear etiquette school” and I have no idea what that means. I don’t even know if it was related to this trip or if it was an old thought. Argh. I feel like it was something good.
OMG! I almost forgot to write that I walked with a lion. That was surprisingly the highlight of my trip. The entire stay at Fathala was remarkable. My only regret was not going into The Gambia because we were so close.
Hope you’re all well!
P.S. - A single mosquito just bit me four times. Those flies no longer seem so bad.
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