Friday, July 02, 2010

Update on Week Two

From Dakar 2010
The collage above features yesterday's road trip to Thies to check out the tapestry artist co-operative. We weren't allowed to take pictures of the artists working, but I will say that I touched the tapestry that will hang in the UN building two years from now. The tapestries take years to complete and costs thousands of dollars a square meter. All of the money goes to running the co-operative. The art was intricate and beautiful and I fell in love with the co-op and its serene grounds.

The ride to Thies was an adventure for a few reasons. First, the khalif of the Mouride brotherhood died on Wednesday night so thousands of believers were making their way towards Touba for the wake. Thies is on the way to Touba so what should have been a 2 hour drive was stretched into a 3.5 hour trip. I saw a lot of buses like this filled to the brim with people:
From Dakar 2010
Secondly, instead of a tire on top of this bus, imagine a dog. I saw one. It was one of the weirdest things I've ever seen on the highway. Last but not least, I saw my first baobab tree and what they say is true: they are majestic and they look like they have been flipped over and the roots have become the branches:
From Dakar 2010

I made a promise to myself that I would blog everyday, but we have been stuffing so much into one day that by the end of it I can barely remember what we did first thing in the morning. Here is a sample weekday:
Wake up around 7:30
Breakfast around 8:00
Errands (like trying to blog on a French keyboard) from 8:30-9:30
Bus leaves for lecture at the university around 10
Lecture from 10:30-Noon on various topics
Lunch from noon-1:30ish
Research, which involves taking a cab, wandering around the city looking for resources, finding the resources, talking to people, taking interviews, taking pictures, and journaling from 1:30ish to 5:30ish.
Dinner from whenever I finish until 7pm. I usually have about an hour of downtime.
Team meeting or lecture from 7-9.
Wandering the city at night trying to wind down from the day until 11pm.
Bed around midnight after emailing Nate on my iPod.
Then we wake up and do it all over again! Next week we are taking Wolof language lessons at 8:30 in the morning. One more thing on the agenda... I am going to sleep for a week when I get home.

I miss all of my friends and family, but my colleagues on this trip are doing an amazing job of taking the ache of my homesickness away. We've got a great group of brilliant people and I feel very lucky.

1 comment:

Mr. Weber said...

You're having a great trip by the sound of it!

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