Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dakar, Senegal

May 31, 2010

From the plane through customs at the Dakar airport was trying. So incredibly tired. And it's hot. And I was so close to Yusupha, somewhere outside in the crush of people and taxis, but stuck in the incoherence of lines and official procedure--granted that in Dakar the whole thing is more low fi than in the US. When I finally emerged with my suitcase, there was an open area with barriers beyond which people were waiting. I was at once being warmly solicited by a man assisting with my bags, offered calling cards and money changing services, while scanning the crowd: Yusupha waved and smiled and at last we are together again. It has been almost 11 months.

Yusupha, ever the economizer, had a friend who had recommended a particular hotel, cheaper even than the Auberge du Lion of our previous visit. But he said if I didn't like it we could move. Since by now I'm barely functional in any language and Yusupha doesn't really speak Wolof, it took awhile to find the place. We checked in and Yusupha had to agree it that it was barely acceptable. There was a cover on the bed but no sheets. There was a toilet and across from that a stall shower, with a sink in the stall. Below a painted over window was a wheezing but not totally ineffective air conditioning unit. We decided to sleep there that night at least. What seemed barely adequate however proved shortly to be entirely inadequate as the nightclub adjacent fired up the music which continued until dawn.

The next morning we returned to the Auberge du Lion and after a day of sleeping I felt somewhere back toward normal.

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