Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Introducing Travel/City Guides :)

Awhile back I posted that my mom, C., and I were going to Morocco in February.... change of plans! Instead, my mom is coming to Dakar for the first time since I've studied/worked/lived here (she actually visited Senegal with an environmental org when I was a little girl, over 20 years ago). As much as I love Morocco and am set on going back, I'm so excited for my mom to finally see where I live, meet C., my friends, and to share with her all my favorite spots that have come to make up home here in Dakar. Not to mention the gorgeous weather will be a much appreciated break coming from Boston (its 79 right now, and in Boston its  25 degrees!).

Dakar from my balcony in early 2011. Come visit!!!
Speaking of visitors, my roommate has gotten into CouchSurfing lately, and we've had some guests staying with us for the past few days--a man and woman from Spain, and another woman from Italy. I still don't know if I would ever stay with someone via CouchSurfing... the thought of staying at a stranger's house sounds potentially risky, and potentially awkward.

BUT, these guests have been so much fun! They are all very interesting (and diverse!), gracious, and I've really enjoyed showing them around Dakar and hearing their first impressions and observations about Senegalese culture. It brings me back to my first months in Dakar, when everything was new, mind boggling, and a fascinating cultural discovery. (Not that my cultural discoveries have completely subsided!) There are few things I enjoy more than sitting around discussing cultural differences, similarities, curiosities, injustices, and the list goes on.

With all this in mind, I've been mentally collecting my recommendations for visitors to Dakar. On my last blog, I wrote about life as an expat vs. life as a student in Senegal (a post I hope to resurrect at some point). Nowadays, I find it is important to balance enriching cultural experiences with certain comforts and joys of the "expat" life; I know I would not enjoy living here after three years if I didn't maintain this balance. So my recommendations from living here might not be completely "authentic" or "traditional" or whatever you want to call it, but they are authentic to me and I know I would have appreciated knowing about some of these culinary, shopping, and cultural gems!

All this to say, I'm introducing a new series focused on Travel and City Guides. Most of these guides will be on Senegal, but I hope to include some findings from my travels in the region as well.

Without further ado, I will start with my favorite thing... food in Dakar :)

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