That’s right, my sister came to visit me in Senegal! Her flight arrived last Wednesday morning at like, 5am, and I was planning to take a bus to Dakar around 10pm to get there just in time. So, I went and stood outside the university, but after waiting for 45 minutes with no bus in sight, I headed to the garage to get a sept-place, getting there around 11:15. Unfortunately, a sept-place to Dakar pulled out just as I pulled into the station. On the plus side, this meant I was the first one there for the next sept-place, so I got the suuuuper (comparatively) comfy front seat. On the down side, this meant I was the first one there for the next sept-place, so I had to wait for 6 more people to show up wanting to go to Dakar. So I waited. And waited. And napped a little. And talked to a nice guy waiting with me for a bit. And waited. By 1:45, there were 5 other people there, and we were waiting for just one more, but I was FREAKING OUT that I wasn’t gonna get to the airport on time, and Emily was going to be stuck waiting there not knowing what to do and not speaking any french. So, I got the nice guy I had been talking to to explain my situation to the other passengers, and they agreed to chip in to pay for the extra seat so we could leave right away – I paid for most of it, but it was still super nice of them to help out. My friend also explained to the taxi driver that I needed to be in Dakar by 5:30am, and miraculously, he actually got us there in 3 1/2 hours – I’ve never had a trip of fewer than 4 or 4 1/2 hours before.
I got out of a taxi at the airport 10 minutes before Emily walked out – pretty perfect timing if I do say so myself! And a huge relief for me, because I would have felt absolutely horrible leaving Emily stuck at the airport.
I won’t go into all the details of what we did for the week, but here are the highlights:
- Hung out at the university in Saint Louis making tea (Emily helped!)
- Went to good-bye parties for both Eveline and Erik, who left that weekend (come baaaaaccckkk, Erik, it’s not the same here without you!!!)
- Visited the city of Saint Louis, and ate delicious yassa!
- Helped record English sentences for an online English class designed by some friends of mine.
- Went to the beach with friends
- Spent the night in Lompoul Desert in a Mauritanian style tent. Rode camels in the desert (The fulfillment of my failed Mauritanian camel riding dreams from my Sahara trip), awkwardly danced to live drumming in the desert.
- Made it to Dakar in one (hot, sweaty) peice after a few squichy sept-place rides
- Visited Île de Gorée
- Ate Dakar’s best ice cream (I miss ice cream a lot)
- Went to three different markets in Dakar
- Went to the Dakar zoo (I had no idea there was a zoo!) and saw animals in the saddest cages ever
It was a great week, and although she had to rely on me to translate everything, I think (I hope!) that Emily had as good of a time as I did! Now I’m feverishly working on my research paper in an attempt to finish it before my parents get here on June 20th. My time in Senegal is quickly winding to a close, and I have very mixed feelings about it.