I could lie and say that I’ve quit updating as regularly because I’ve been off exploring Dakar, but that would be a complete lie. Mostly, my computer got knocked off a desk and its screen imploded, so that’s been putting a cramp in my style. Rather than using the extra time to learn Wolof/figure out how to barter at all successfully, I’ve been taking naps, reading, and talking to my host dad. It turns out that Dakar is a lot like the year that I moved to Atlanta, in terms of my active social life and propensity to take risks.
As an aside, yesterday my host dad told me that I need more friends. I may need to reevaluate some life choices here.
Life is not all incredibly boring, though! Last week, I went to the HLM market, the local source for all things fabricy, with a friend. (See, host dad!) I took the wax cloth that I bought to the tailor in order to have it whipped into garmenty shape, and I picked the dress up yesterday. The whole setup cost $17 (fabric plus labor), and fits wonderfully. Plus: fabric covered buttons and pockets. I think the tailor may have replaced the guy who works at the sandwich shop behind school as my favorite person I’ve interacted with this week.
I look like a cow, but that dress! It is beautiful! (And the sleeves and hem are being shortened, and the neck possibly altered, when I go home. This was the Senegalese standards version so that I could actually wear it around.) The pattern matching on the front and the sleeves! My heart beats for it. A billion points to Ousmane the tailor!
Basically, I may not be taking from this experience what I’m supposed to be taking from it, yet. I’m shy and I’m increasingly frustrated with my academic situation here, and the political situation makes it difficult to explore the city. So that sucks.
But! I have pitched and submitted a few articles, I have a sweet dress, and my French is clearly less terrible than it used to be. I’m going to take those as positives and hope the rest sorts itself out later.