Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Back to the Big City

And by big city I mean Kédougou. With all the pre-election protests that were going on in the bigger towns and cities I've been staying in my village, Salémata, where it's been lovely and calm. Right before Election day I did a lot of hanging out under the mango tree, playing with the baby, making things out of paper, and listening to the BBC. (I would like to take a moment to thank the BBC World Service for existing.) As it turns out, voting during the first round of the 2012 presidential elections in Senegal went remarkably smoothly, even in Dakar, and I'm now allowed to come in to the Kédougou Regional House to check e-mail and stock up on oatmeal and all that good stuff.

My sitemate and I decided to bike in to Kédougou today. We've done it before, we left early in the morning and were expecting it to get hot (which it did) but to make it to the house before lunchtime. We were not expecting the little cloud of bloodsucking tse tse flies that showed up on the outskirts of village and stayed with us for about 45 kilometers (28 miles, about halfway to Kédougou). At that point, exhausted from trying to bike and swat flies at the same time, we stopped in the shade of a baobab tree. It was getting hot, and since we'd just been passed up by the transport van that we'd opted not to take, I was regretting having been so enthusiastic about the whole biking thing. Just then, while we were sitting in the dirt next to our bikes, looking sweaty and dusty and fly-bitten and probably more than a little pitiful, a beautiful pickup truck came along and stopped in front of us. The passenger opened his window (Air conditioning! Fancy.) and asked if we were volunteers. We said yes, and he said he worked with the Ninefesha Hospital, he knew the volunteer Kadjabi (our friend Meera) and that she did good work so since we were with Corps de la Paix we were welcome to throw our bikes in the back and hop in the backseat and come to along Kédougou. We were thrilled. And grateful.

Anyway, I made it to the house and now I'll be around the next few days, working on a few things and (inchallah) uploading some photos and catching up on the blog.

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