Monday, August 27, 2012

The Office Moat

This past week I spent a few days at the Thiès Training Center, helping with a few sessions during the latest training groups' In-Service Training (IST).
From there I headed over to Dakar, where I'm getting a few things done at the office (meetings, printing, reimbursements for rash-cream, etc) while I'm up here. While it's been lovely to have electricity pretty much all the time, warm showers at the transit house, and plentiful fruit vendors (Plums! Pears! Tangerines! Amazing!) I've also been reminded of why I'd much rather sit out rainy season in a little village than spend it Senegal's capital. 

The Moat: receding, but still very much present.
Dakar doesn't exactly have well-functioning sewers or an effective urban drainage system, so when there are heavy rains gutters overflow, raw sewage burbles up through access holes, and many streets are thoroughly awash with filthy, murky runoff water. Yesterday, after a heavy morning downpour, the water was so deep in parts of the Almadies neighborhood that taxis and other normal-type cars couldn't make it through the reach the main office and the main street by the transit house, where I was, briefly became a frothy river with a surprisingly swift current. Today the water has drained off, for the most part, leaving only the muddled pond that fills the road in front of the office for most of every rainy season here. We were able to get from place to place pretty well, carefully making our way around and over the filthy runoff puddles and streams in an impromptu little game of high-stakes hopscotch. 

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