Running Water

When the water don’t flow the day feels incomplete. I walk around my single room flat with the incense I burn before I sleep and it and the flames of the candles show me imbalance – we have fire but we have no water. Running water that is. Of course I have reserve water. No…

No, Thank You, I’m allergic.

Just found this little pearl of a personal note from the end of last year, when I was clearly experiencing a classic case of Africa-fatigue …a malady which manifests in my person every so often with symptoms of abundant and exasperated sarcasm. 17.10.2018 – Thiès – Day 3 Because you’ve heated up water on the…

Knock knock

When you work for an African NGO in a small town where all of your colleagues are your only social circle and thankfully there are a few who you actually want to be friends with. I hear a tentative knock-knock on my bedroom door around 10pm. Sure we have been roommates now for close to…

Sweat and Smile more: it’s October in Senegal

It’s that month of the year in Senegal when we all secretly wish we could exit the country – it’s October. It’s our month when we endure the heat and humidity of the rainy season but without the welcome breaks that come with the coolness of the rains. In short, it’s hot and humid all…

Making inside of yourself a safe place to be

As I embark soon on a new adventure to a new place, one which is very likely to be less comfortable and entertaining from a Western perspective than my previous home base, I feel completely at peace with my decision. Driving around Calgary yesterday morning I imagined chatting with a local teenager about my choice…

Look up, look deep and tell me what you see

I’m fixing up my résumé, and it’s not for the first or the last time. I also realize that what I want to write is not necessarily what I should write. They tell me that I’m meant to list, yet again, my education and work experiences. I want to write the whole truth. I want…

The day that I became a Millionaire

“To get the price in Euros, take the local price and remove the last three zeros and then multiply the remaining number by 1.5”, it was my first day in Dakar and my boss was sharing some Dakar life tips with me. Like most people who first arrive in Senegal it was initially sluggish work…

Disconnect to Reconnect: about Wifi’s fuzzy reminder

“We invest our time and energy into who and what we value.” Morning meditation and conversations at the Offline House can go real deep, real quick. I’ve been happily resting and rejuvenating my body, soul and mind with surfing, nature, yoga and great books at a concept-Hostel in the south of Portugal called the Offline…

The Courage to Disappoint

Keep it real, I say to myself, as I’m writing this post. Keep it very real. “I’ve been plenty humbled these past few days”, I can hear my pride is trying to negotiate with me, “do we have to publish this failure on the web?” Yes, we do, I argue. Firstly because I do not…

A pretty blouse, another tear masked

Stories about appearances. A year ago, in my day-job in Dakar, we were having a horrible time coming to terms with a jumble of various damaged rice bags belonging to different receivers. Imagine thousands upon thousands of bags, some in containers, rotting, others thrown into warehouse corners covered in cobwebs their colourful logos faded with…

A Timeless run around the Pink Lake

It’s not usual that I’m up at 6:30 on a Saturday, and on the highway to the Pink Lake (“Lac Rose”) by 8am. We’re headed for the first 10km race around the lake – heading there not to race so much as to enjoy the jogging and walking around the unique pink waters of the…

Arms raised to me

Now. Raising one hand, marvel at the mechanisms, the magic, the life-force creation here around, in soil, sun and sand. Raise the other hand and the spirit slips through my fingers, its natural rhythm is in flight with the flocks, in tune with trance of trickling of the stream, with the whistle of the wind….

The Journey of a single bag of rice – Part I

At first glance, unloading cargo from a vessel looks like a horde of ants invading a juicy piece of cake. The vessel is huge, the people are little, and up and down the swaying ladder attached to the side of the ship, we (underwriters), insurers, other surveyors, dockers and supervisors climb on board to join…

Greetings from two months in

Me: Salam aleekum. Taxi Driver: Malekum Salam. (conversation around destination and taxi price ensues, in (my) patchy Wolof) Taxi Driver: How long have you been here? (a trickle of sweat slips down my back) Me: Two months. Ñaari wer.…Two months, and a bit. Taxi Driver: You are Senegalese now. Me (to myself): It’s time I…

A day trip to the Island of Gorée, in images

A journey in images from yesterday’s trip to Ile de la Gorée. The island is a 30 minute ferry ride away from Dakar. Arriving into the port. Then, an impromptu photo shoot near a beautiful, bright blue door. This is my first adventure with having custom-made clothes sown using the local fabrics. I’m convinced that…