This weekend marked the end of rural visits and the beginning of spring break, so it was somewhat obligatory that it be ridiculous. It started simply enough–a program friend suggested that, instead of going to the monthly ex-pat party (ridiculous in its own way) we go to the party that a fellow student’s host brother’s youth group was throwing to raise money for those unable to afford medical bills. We figured that if it was terrible, we could always cab over to the expat party nearby.
So, off we trekked in a couple of cabs. The group consisted of several program girls and a friend’s lone, male language partner (who, ironically, is actually from Chad and so does not speak Wolof). The language partner is good people–at pre-party drinks, he talked about not knowing what he wanted to do once he finishes law school, given that his parents already want him to settle down and get married. His mom wants grandkids. I made a Jewish mother joke, he laughed politely (if uncomprehendingly) and all was well.
Once we got to the party, the first of many confusing but delightful realizations was had–namely, that the party was being held on the top floor of a bakery. We said hello to the host brother (who promptly retreated with his program girlfriend for canoodling) and–since it was midnight and we were the first to arrive–set about interpretive dancing.
Now, generally speaking, the Senegalese dancing that I have seen in clubs is Serious Business. When you roll out at 1 in the morning, clubbing takes on a sort of grim determination. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered the following things: the floor was slippery, the music was “Get Low,” and language partner and host brother were doing the ironic running man with me, complete with hand gestures.
I finally found my stupid dance companions! I finally found a situation in which I could stupid dance without anyone trying to rub themselves on me and/or steal my phone! It was the best. (It was made even better by the addition of gin from someone’s purse, soda from the gas station, and oragami paper cups that I made because I am nothing if not crafty.)
We merrily danced the night away, and when someone did try to grind the girls banded together to fend them off with our elbows. I danced with language partner and a few others (who, in a novel change, approached me from the front), and I managed to get into a cab before anyone fell down the stairs, got a hickey, or had discussions about their jifondas* in the bakery. Easily my favorite completely bizarre Dakar experience so far.
* Wolof concept which basically entails having a badonk like J. Lo. When our host families want us to eat more, they tell us the dish will give us a jifonda.