Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rainy Season

Beach in Mbour
Life is good in Senegal, especially when it is rainy season and there is a breeze to make the heat and flies a lot more manageable. I goosebumps on Saturday! which if you know me, you know that doesnt take much.. 80 degrees? A couple of trainees decided to meet up by the beach (because that is what Mbour, my training site, is known for) and a giant storm just happened to descend upon us as we were enjoying a lunch that did not include rice. Still, we were determined to go to the beach, so we ended up soaking wet with the wind blowing off the Atlantic, it was actually a bit chilly.
Fortunately the water is real warm, like bath water. You just have to ignore the bits of trash floating about, not any worse than the Long Island Sound.

Getting home however was a nightmare. My neighborhood is not close to the beach; it is really close to anything of interest in Mbour for that matter, or at least not that I know of. Its hard to get a taxi to my neighborhood, worse when it is raining, still worse when its almost sundown and everyone wants to be home to break the fast. The driver we did find was great though, did not even charge us the Toubab price.
(Toubab is what the call white and/or Western oriented people hear; not sure if it is supposed to be offensive or not, but it sure is annoying when a group of 50 kids see you walking from 2 blocks and just chant Toubab Toubab until you have passed them and gone another 2 blocks.)

Liberte (my hood in Mbour) when the skies clear.
We didnt make it quite home though; all the roads were flooded or just washed completely out. So we had to get out and walk, a fine idea until someone decided to remind us of the health lecture we had about all the parasites that could be in the standing water. And the fact the flood waters were full with whatever came up from everyones holes that they use as the toilet in that section of town. At first we avoided all puddles at all cost, but the sun was quickly setting and we were just getting further from where we needed to be. So we took a deep breath and walked quickly through the puddles back home. After greeting everyone on the block and my family, I bolted for our own bathroom/shower hole to scrub myself clean.

It was only the next morning I learned that our septic/cistern/toilet thing had also flooded our entire compound, sadly washing away our cactus, the only plant after my dad gave up on our mango sapling last week. (The chickens got to it...)

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