24 March 2014

légui légui, saint louis

photos from our last few days in st. louis. we departed for dakar friday, march 14.

a week before we left, there were riots in st. louis: tensions between the fishermen and the police over fishing laws and crossing the mauritanian border to fish exploded into taxi-burning, bridge-blocking, rock-throwing chaos. we only caught the beginning of it, watching smoke billow and riot police gather to barricade the petit pont before we left for a safer area. it was interesting, but we were carrying our computers and we stuck out dangerously in the crowd. we headed to a different part of the town, but later as we left lunch our eyes were stinging from the growing cloud of tear gas, and we decided to leave the island for the day before the situation got worse or the riots spread.

on our last weekend we crossed a few more items off our 'bucket list' of sorts for our time in the city. one was heading to zebrabar, a beach spot recommended by my favorite travel websites as one of the best little-known beach getaways in west africa. unfortunately, that saturday was windy and far too cold to even put on a swimsuit. but tamar, elliot, and i did enjoy reading and talking and eating in a beautiful and quiet spot.

we were productive in our last week of work, doing a variety of different projects and visits. one involved

that photo is of the owner's marabout - his daara master/quranic teacher/islamic leader.

we went shopping downtown for all our last-minute presents. there were a lot of people i wanted to buy for.

our tailor.

i stopped by the lycée one more time to say goodbye to my former french tutor and to give her a big map of senegal that i had brought. i knew it'd be of more use to her than it would to me now - she teaches geography classes at middle- and high-school level with 70+ students but no maps to use.

and as is tradition, we started our last night "last drinks" at la residence hotel. after going to so many of these events for other people, it was sad to have our own.

we went out dancing for one last night at iguane, one of our favorite places to listen to rihanna/sean paul and dance in front of wall-to-wall mirrors on an empty floor.

saying goodbye to satsuki, who only speaks japanese but is still somehow everyone's friend. i admire that.

 packing up was hard. tamar and i had a lot of time to discuss and reflect, though, so i'd made peace with leaving.

i went up to the rooftop one more time to take photos of the 'hood from above.

our favorite neighbors... or not.

that's the walk to work right there.

one of our late-night fataya places, next to the boutique where we always buy ice cream bars and bananas.

we stopped by work one more time to say goodbye.

the microfinance office.

our boss ousmane teaches an english class.
outside the microfinance/human rights office.

perpetual construction.

we were lucky to have some amazing friends who came to celebrate our time and see us off in our favorite fashion: lunch at the crêperie downtown.


tamar, me, yu rim, marie-jo, simeon.

last looks en ville.

our last day ended up more hectic than we'd anticipated, so we quickly cleaned up our room and snapped some photos of the house.

with her "cars" movie bedspread; mine was dora the explorer.

this was the first time we'd swept the room during our entire stay; the broom seemed suspiciously unhelpful.

we said goodbye to our host family before jumping in the taxi. 

ali also stopped by for a sad goodbye - and to pick up our surplus toilet paper. that stuff's expensive here.

 ...and then we were off to dakar, and then to our next adventures! i have to post about palmarin and dakar (our last week in senegal) before i head off to france tomorrow.


p.s. tamar and i did spend 24/7 together during our trip; literally, our longest separation was my seven two-hour french classes. and i'm so lucky to have had her. it's hard now to get used to singular pronouns again - i'm so used to speaking for "we"! we'll be reunited in paris soon enough. :)

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