Apologies for my lazy blogging this past week. Between the crazy computer lab schedule and my sheer forgetfulness, I've left a small gap in travel log. I'll make it up right now with a brief overview of the events of the past seven days.
If I had a bucket list, I would have fulfilled one of the items last Saturday: surfing! A group of six or seven piled into two taxis Saturday afternoon and directed the drivers to the Yoff beach of northern Dakar. After hiring an instructor and renting boards, leashes, and wet suit tops (so our stomachs, if we were wearing bikinis, wouldn't chafe from the top of the board) for a mere $12 for two hours, we set out into the crashing ocean waves. Unlike American lessons, where the teacher dotes on his/her students in an almost motherly way, our instructor approached his lesson the way a Pitt Psych 101 professor would teach a lecture hall class: by demonstrating once and standing in the waves, watching and staying "good job" or "bad job" as needed. Surprisingly, this method worked well; learning felt more like solving a problem than blinding mimicking the expert. Through sodden determination, several of us (including me!) managed to stand up several times by the 1.5 hour mark. (Side note: I've never felt water so warm; it was quite like taking a tepid bath).
Sunday, dry and salt-free, I donned my new, turquoise, tailor-made sundress for Korite. Korite is the holiday marking the end of Ramadan. In short, it's the Muslim Thanksgiving. To celebrate the end of a month of fasting, Muslims spend the day visiting friends and relatives, apologizing for past insults, praying, and eating copious quantities of high energy food. For example, breakfast consisted of a sugared millet meal topped with a small lake of sweet peanut and baobab juice. Honestly, it tastes like a PB and J in a bowl, aka absolutely delicious. At midmorning, during my visiting rounds, my friend's host family served my friends and I couscous and raisins with sweet whole milk yogurt on top, followed by a variety of sodas (I chose pineapple. Yum). By lunchtime, I already full from the couscous yogurt pudding, sat down to a mutton and pasta feast served on a plate on the floor. Thankfully dinner was a simple mug of the peanut and millet goo.
And I'm being kicked out of the computer lab. So...ba beneen yoon!