I'm back from working in Dakar. I'm sick, I'm sunburnt and I'm exhausted, but it was pretty cool nontheless, when I think back on it. So here are 5 things I learnt over the week I spent there...
1. I can get culture shock. It takes me 2 days to get over it, and then I feel much better. But it has weird consequences : I get scared of everything... cockroaches, people, cars, getting my bag stolen, getting sick from the food, getting sick from the mosquitoes, getting sick from the mosquito repellent, getting lost... 2 days, then I feel much better, but it really had consequences on me that I would never have thought it'd have. It turned me into a real sissy, is what I mean. For 2 days. Then I was just a regular sissy, but at least I started talking to people and enjoying myself.
Still, I'm really angry at myself about the cockroach issue. A big, red one with large antennaes, on the wall in the bathroom. I'm NOT SCARED OF SCORPIONS, but a stupid cockroach nearly got me screaming like a girl! Ok, I am a girl, but you see what I mean. Stupid crap animal jumped on the toilet seat, then on the floor, then ran away between my feet, making awful, terrible little clicking noises on the tiles with its gross little legs. I might have gone : "meeeeeeeeeeeek", but it was just ultrasound, and I don't think my roommates noticed anything.
2. Opening the blinds, and having a gorgeous view of the sea is all I need to be in a good mood in the morning. Was that so very complicated? Is that too much to ask? Honestly?
3. I cannot negociate. I've heard on my last day that when someone offers 20 000 FCFA as a price, you need to say "5000" and then reach 10 000 in the end, halving the difference everytime. I tended to say"19000", then the guy would say "you're robbing me!" and I'd end up paying 22000 and leaving a tip. If I had stayed a few more weeks, I'd have had the GDP triple.
4. I found a cause I'm willing to fight for. I saw a guy, alone, with a sheet of paper (a sheet of paper, a regular one, not a banner or anything). He'd written "I'm fed up" on it, with a red sharpie, and was marching down the alleys screaming "I'm FED UP!". I wanted to get his contacts and become a fan on Facebook, but I was in awe, and did not have the presence of mind to go and talk to him.
5. What EVER happens : Sunscreen.
So yeah. I had a pretty good time in Senegal, ate a lot of grilled fish, talked to a bunch of really cool people that I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise (the interpreting team really was very, very cool, and I do hope I'll get to see them again at some point).