Chez Dimbo

Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
1
25
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Trip End Dec 15, 2006


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Flag of Senegal  ,
Sunday, November 12, 2006

On Friday, Sam Levine and I took a run-down taxi with eight other people on a five hour drive to Saint Louis. I sat next to a rather large woman with a small child that couldn't have been over two. He certainly enjoyed grabbing my hand and swinging it around in the two feet of space that we had to move. When we arrived, my Senegalese host father's brother, Dimbo Cisse, came to pick us up at the taxi depot. For the past three days, we have been relaxing, exploring Saint Louis and its wonderful (although expensive) restaurants, and learning more about Dimbo and his lifestyle.

The Rules of Chez Dimbo (and why I hate them):

1. One must speak English. I didn't come to Senegal to speak English, but I don't mind speaking English with Senegalese people when they want to practice. In this situation, I HATE speaking English because, first of all, Dimbo can understand very little of what Sam and I say in English. What's more is that Dimbo speaks even less English than he understands.

2. One must always lock the door. There are five doors that must remained locked at all times whether you're in the house or not, but there is only one key to each door. Whenever we want to leave, we end up talking about the key situation for about ten minutes to arrange who will have the key, where the key will be, when we will be coming back, how we will meet each other to exchange the key. When we're in the house, every time we want to leave, we have to go get Dimbo to let us out of the three doors leading into the house. Bahh.. make a copy, already!

3. One must share food. I don't want you putting your dirty hands into my pasta, thank you.

4. One must like bugs. Don't worry, they're not toxic! It's fine that they're jumping in your food and crawling in your hair. Insect repellent anyone?

5. One must be able to tolerate scandal. Dimbo is a 42-year-old university professor who is dating (secretly) his 25-year-old former student. Scandalous for the US.. unheard of in Senegal!

Despite this, the apartment is very clean and beautiful and is located in a quiet, calm quarter of Saint Louis. I love living with Sam and I'm about to start my research tomorrow which I am very enthusiastic about. Only a few more days left with crazy uncle Dimbo!
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