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…

Café Dakar with Stefania Zimmer

Café Dakar shares interviews with real people living in Dakar, Senegal. We talk about life here in West Africa’s francophone capital. The ups, the downs, what we love and what we could do without. Café Dakar is all about diversity and tolerance; it’s about work, life, fun and whatever we feel people should know about…

A Sunday stroll on the beach in Yoff

Today is an important day for Muslims as they make their way to the Yoff Mosque to listen to a well-known Marabout speak. Everyone is dressed in white. Why? A young woman tells us this is so “you cannot tell the difference between the rich and the poor”. Then, a walk along the beach turning…

It’s not really about the tea

After so many inspections of rice in warehouses comes the invitation to eat and drink. Everyone hovers around a big, metal bowl filled with spicy rice and fish elaborated with colours of boiled carrot and cassava and pokes a spoon in eagerly. It is delicious. I’m pretty sure we’re sharing spoons. Everyone crouches flat-footed on…

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…

The Greatest Gift

I couldn’t ask for a better dose of inspiration this morning then to work on compiling all of my notes, materials and recordings from the past 8 months of Awakening Coaching…and to finally write this blog post that has wanted to express itself for some time. It’s Christmas. Some time at around this time in…

The books we read matter: my 2015 literary highlights

Dear fellow book lover, I’m one of those people who is usually reading a half-dozen books at the same time, jumping from chapter to chapter, readings parts, coming back to titles later than planned or never at all.  You’ve likely met a few of my breed before :-) So, while 2015 has been a transformative…

The Muddy Shoe

Sometimes, I feel righteous. Like I’m the most important one in the room and everyone else forgot to notice. In that context, acts that looks like they come from kindness or generosity are actually fuelled by the desire for recognition or approval. You really are a lovely human being, I expect to hear. Wow you…

Gratitude for the Camino de Santiago

“And that’s why I have to go back to so many places in the future, there to find myself and constantly examine myself with no witness but the moon and then whistle with joy. ambling over rocks and clods of earth, with no task but to live, with no family but the road.” – Pablo…

Just let go of the bar – Kite-surfing’s big life lesson

Rule #1 when you’re learning kite surfing: when it gets challenging, too strong or scary, just let go of the bar.  The bar is how you steer and control the kite flying above you, this fabric and lines that captures the incredible power of the wind and propels you forward with it. It takes practice…

Where is home…or where is my home next?

I recently met a Dominican, born and raised in Santo Domingo, my age. Early on in our conversation it came up that his mother is considering selling the house he’s living in now.  This in itself is not a problem… but it’s the very same house he grew up in and in which he “took…

Every house its own kingdom, every man for himself

An island nation of islands. Identifying problems in Haiti is a national pastime. Numerous are the meetings and conversations which begin or end with the phrase “You see, the problem in Haiti is _________.” Fill in the blank. It’s the government, it’s corruption. It’s the mentality of the people, it’s the lack of competent human…

Typhoid is typical and everyone is an electrician

As I write this I’m laying on my bed and flailing my legs above me as I let the fan bring some air to my body and liberated nether regions. I take in this very full, and very social day in Haiti. My feet are heavy with the heat and humidity.  It’s summer in the…