Friday, July 20, 2007

The non-internet era

Hello everyone!

It's been a while... It has been harder and harder to post and here's why. For the last week, there has been a power outage almost every day at the home for a number of hours each time. (I have internet access at work, but after being there for 10 hours, you just want to get out!) So when the outages come around, not only is there no internet, there's no light, and usually no water! I didn't shower this morning, because of the water outage, which is fine and all if you're in Canada, but when it's hot and sticky, a daily shower is a necessity! The worst is when you start showering, get covered in soap, and then the water stops... haha... that's happened to me twice.
Here's me in a moment of desperation, washing my clothes with water that was stored in case of water outages, and a flashlight that Chris - the American who is staying at the house - hung from a clothesline... It looks light out because of the flash, but in reality it was dark!

Speaking of electricity, I wrote an article about the debate surrounding using computers in African schools - and that was an interesting element that came up - that now these schools have computers, but they still don't have consistent electricity ! And what does that say ?.... Read the article to find out! (

There have been other moments of twisting and turning in bed because the fan wasn't working and the heat was overwhelming, and add to that the itchiness of my scalp because of the braids... more than 10 hours of labour, and here is the result: (that's Chris in the picture - he's on some kind of study abroad program for a month and a half. He's got one week left and I think the power outages are pushing him over the edge! He's ready to go home. His theory is that Senegal can't produce enough of its own power, and can't afford to buy power from outside, so it's just on a rotating blackout cycle, from neighbourhood to neighbourhood around the country)

Anyways, there was a rough patch for a while, adjusting to all this... AND get this: One of my suitcases finally came, two and a half weeks late. I was all excited, picked it up from the airport, took it home, opened it, only to find my clothes full of mold (check it out) I guess they left the bag out in the rain! So, yah, hebster was a bit grumpy for a while, but I'm better now...

As for the house, it's not too bad actually. There are lots of interesting (somewhat crazy) people living there: Kals, tall and lanky, absolutely weird, responds to everything you say with a comment that makes no sense but makes you laugh; Malick, short with dreads, and a djembe player; Lamine (or El-Amin in Arabic), wannabe philosopher who loves to discuss ideas - and who at dinner is sure to throw some cut up meat onto my side of the communcal plate because I suppose he thinks I won't get enough to eat otherwise! And my favourite of them all: Aida, the little baby...
Otherwise, no malaria yet ( I bought some pills here that I have begun taking)... I think I am going to start jogging/playing football (wow, I just naturally called it football and not soccer!). The Senegalese love "le sport" as they call it, which is basically just running. You see them everywhere running on the street or along the beach, with sandals, half the time, and usually in packs. So I figured, I might as well get into it too!
Anyways, I hear it's raining buckets in Canada, so I hope you're all doing well despite the miserable weather... take care.


Kamal Shaath said...

Heba, this addiction to your Blog is killing me.... it so interesting to read... It is nice to see that you are adjusting, nice braids. Keep us posted with your progress and adventures.

Addicted to your blog.

Natasha said...

aaah that little girl is so cute!!!
so are you planning to keep on living with this family and their random strangers or what? it sounds like a good experience but possibly not fun in a long-term setting....(?)
i'm going on holiday tomorrow so i'll send you emails/pics next week.
love you.

Emily said...

In India, I showered by filling up a big bucket then used a smaller bucket to pour out water over my head and body to get soap off. I did it because the shower pressure was too low to rinse out my hair properly, but it would probably save you from getting all lathered up only to have the water shut off.