A Breezy Day

This morning, I woke up at 5:30AM “at the buttcrack of dawn” to run to the African Renaissance Monument with Krista and Blair. I didn’t actually think this would happen because of the early time and distance. The route to the statue is about 5 miles roundtrip, which isn’t long, except when you’re sweating before you start running and inhaling visible exhaust.

But this morning was exceptionally cool (which is to say, pretty warm), and we were even getting some ocean breezes. The statue itself was impressive. To get to it, we had to climb 10 flights of stairs, which also meant that when we reached the top, we had a great view of Dakar, and even more sea breezes blowing in.

On our way back, we had a mini Wolof quiz with the AK-47-wielding guards (Wolof quizzes commence every time we engage with someone in Wolof). They were very friendly, and one of them was also from Sacré Coeur!

For breakfast, I had an underripe mango, so I cut my thumb very badly on my folding knife. This is not the first time I’ve cut myself while cutting a rock-hard mango. I should stop doing that.

The mango did not appease my appetite because what Americans apparently crave the most when they go abroad is peanut butter. I’m fine without it, except when I am in a room with five peanut butter jars and the entire room smells like delicious, delicious peanut butter. So I’d been craving it for the past two weeks. The past two days I tried quelling my craving by buying 20c-packets of roasted peanuts from off the streets. This morning I went up to the cafeteria and asked if I could have some bread and peanut butter. Apparently, they sell a good-quality baguette half slathered with natural peanut butter for 30c! I hope this doesn’t become a fattening habit.

I came home, ate lunch with my family (white rice with fried fish, carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, and sauce), and finished Ambiguous Adventure in the living room while sweatily dozing off.

Tired of being sweaty, I went up to the terrace to cool off. There was enough breeze for me to let down my hair, and I let it blow in the wind while I softly sang Le Ciel Dans Une Chambre (my quiet mindfulness song) and watched the street which was set against a backdrop of the setting sun and The African Renaissance Monument. Beautiful, calm, peaceful solitude.

The view from my third-floor roof terrace. I live on the VDN, which is almost a highway that runs through Dakar. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera when the sun was a little orange ball next to the statue.


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