Gotta hand it to Coca Cola for their international advertising. This was taken at my local grocery store! Can you pronounce any of these Senegalese names?
Great questions this week, everyone!
- Givonne: What kind of transportation have you been on? Do you like the colors of the buses? How old do you have to be to ride a motorcycle? I’ve been on every kind of transportation mentioned in the post except for a moto! They scare me a little bit, since people often don’t have helmets and traffic can get pretty hectic. I’m pretty sure the only rule about riding a moto is that you have to be big enough to ride it properly (even then, when I was in Tambakounda I saw kids of all sizes on motos). And yes, I love the colors of the buses! Dakar can get pretty dang dusty with sand, so everything everywhere seems to be covered in a light beige. The bright colors are a nice change. 🙂
- Ayan: Why do children get to ride on motorcycles? Motorcycles are just not seen as particularly worrisome or dangerous here. Our school director told us a story about her brother-in-law coming to her house one day, bringing with him a brand new moto. “But you don’t even know how to drive a car!”, she said. “So what?” said her brother, “it’s only a moto”.
- Kalab: Do they have vending machines? Do you have horses?You know what? There might be one at a fancy hotel or something, but no, I’ve never seen a vending machine. Instead, on almost every single street corner there are little corner stores called ’boutiks’ that sell everything you’d find in a vending machine and more. Anything you can think of – bread, tea, soda, toothpicks, spices, toilet paper, teapots, batteries, literally anything can usually be found at a boutik. I go to one at least once a day for something or other. I’ll try to take a good picture of one! I’m good friends with my local boutik man. And YES, there are horses everywhere! One transportation thing I didn’t talk about were the Charettes – horse-drawn carriages are found all over.
- Grace: Where do you keep the cold food at the grocery store? In many small villages all over Senegal there is no electricity at all, so there are no grocery stores and no cold food. However, in Dakar and every other city (and any small town!), food is kept in refrigerators just like back at home!
For the questions about welfare, food stamps, and homelessness – I am going to answer those questions in another big Monday post a different week. There are just too many things to talk about! Homelessness and begging are a huge problem in Senegal, though, and I’d love to talk to you all about that.
Next week I wanted to introduce my neighborhood and everything that can be found in it, to show you a bit of what Dakar really truly looks like. Is there anything in particular you would like to see or hear about? Let me know!
Jërëjëf! Léegi léegi, Insh’allah. (Thank you! See you soon, God willing).