Thursday, July 5, 2007

Senegalese friends

Ok, more for today because my first post just didnt cut it. A few random and unconnected ideas.
1 - Keeping up with the news market here is challenging. When you work in local news, you have to be aware of int'l stuff sure, but you can get a pretty good handle of whats going on from one newspaper. Here Ive got to read the local papers to know whats happening in Senegal, the African news sites to keep on an eye on other countries (I'm in charge of keeping up to date on news in the lower priority countries we cover - Togo, Ghana, Western Sahara, Cape Verde, Gambia, Cameroon, etc and the main reporters handle the higher priority countries - Nigeria, Chad, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, etc); but at the same time you have to be up on big international news coming out of the states, etc... anyways, so it's tought to keep up. But it's really nice that my job is to research such interesting stuff that I want to be informed about anyway!
2 - The boys in these internet cafes are so funny because they play English rap music from the computer in their headphones, but then they sing along, in their cute accents and I'm like 'I know that song!' and i dont know if they realize what they sound like, but they think they've got it down pat !
3 - My British colleague Nick gave me a ride downtown today, and gave me a little tour by car. I have to say it's a pretty unspectacular downtown core, but it was nice to get out of work early and do something! As I was walking down the street, I heard these voices chanting, but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Then when I turned the corner, I found a group of men, all wearing colourful boubous, walking in a small circle singing so loud the whole neighbourhood coule here it. I wanted to take a video, but i held back... Then I went to the Sengada market as its called - this strip of vendors with cloths, jewellery; etc... think ottawa's byward market with ten times the number of vendors in half the space, with random people coming up to you trying to sell you stuff. Like Cairo's khan al-khalili... Anyways, I ended up making friends with one of the vendors. He calls himself Pap (the one on the right), but his real name is El-Hadji. Him and his little seller friend, Dudu. I ended up buying something from them just for kicks, but I forced them to pose for a picture, which I will post. We took the bus home together, cuz they live near my nieghbourhood and I might play soccer with them sometime! I feel I am starting to make friends in the neighbourhood I'm in. The guy at the phone booth, the guy at the the sandwich shop, the water stand. At first, they're a bit reserved, but when you keep going back day after day, they start asking you your name, and why you knw french, and how long you're here for, etc. The waitress at the restaurant by my house, Kumba, invited me to go visit her family, and the guy at the cyber cafe says he will show me his neighbourhood, Yoff. Of course, I won't be taking up all these offers, but it's nice to be making friends!

I drank all my bottled water, which means no more till tomorrow! luggage didnt come. they said, 'oh dont worry, it will definitely be here saturday.' Right, just like it was supposed to be last Saturday, then Monday, then today! Does anyone have any hookups at British Airways?

1 comment:

Kamal Shaath said...

Heba... your writing is so great, I can just imagine the scenery... I will wait for the pictures to see If I had the right image..

As for British Airways, try and locate the Station Manager, British Airways has one of the most sophisticated baggage handling systems in the world, they should be able to give you step by step where the luggage is, and when it will arrive... They should also compensate you for the delay by paying for the immediate items you had to purchase.... things like tooth brush, shampoo, change of clothe.... this amount should be outlined on their website.... Good Luck.
Here is a link from the British Airways site for tracing your luggage...

Keep us informed of your adventure..