The SP kids at a party with some of our Muslim students last night.
I took a head count this morning as my team and I meandered out the front door with all of the astute lucidity of six drunken sailors on leave-and at aproximately 0900, all six were still breathing, of relatively sound mind, and accounted for.
Which would suggest that we’ve made it through the first four days of this year’s summer project! In Dakar that’s a win, kids.
The mayhem commenced at 4:00 AM on Tuesday morning, when my alarm rudely pierced the black of night and cajoled my unwilling body out of bed. Exhausted, I slowly reached for the light switch-only to discover that much to my dismay, the electricity was off.
Of course the electricity was off. And really, who needs coffee at 4:00 AM?
Danger, Will Robinson.
After spending aproximately eleven and a half minutes moaning in the fetal position, I emerged from my apartment looking like something out of Greek mythology. Five thirty AM found me curled up in a blue sweatshirt on the filthy cement outside of the much dilapidated, gray Senegalese airport-oblivious to persistant vendors that were mistakenly convinced that the louder they prattled on in Wolof, the more likely I was to buy one of their little orange phone cards.
Eventually, sixteen Americans began pouring out of baggage claim and into the dusty street-and just like that, project had begun.
Thus far, they’re adapting splendidly! They’ve toured campus, filtered water, swatted mosquitos, eaten heaps of oily rice, spent two days studying everything from Wolof to Islamic theology, met students, and spent a full day on campus today. Friday is the Muslim holy day-and so this is what they saw near the campus mosque at around 2:00 this afternoon:
Additionally, each one of them is now covered in a thick layer of dirt that can only be removed by enriched plutonium-which means they’re well on their way to becoming locals.
As for me? Well, the electricity eventually flickered back to life-bringing with it the familiar scent of hazelnut coffee that keeps me from licking my front door and rummaging through boxes of recyclables in times like these. And in the midst sleepless times like these, it helps to remember-
…there have always been times like these.