Quick and dirty post (I owe rural visit update), but the spoils just from tonight:
1. I’m celebrating Diwali in an hour with a couple of immigrants from India and their Senegalese friend. I met them just two days ago when the Senegalese friend, Ousmane, shouted out 你好吗?
2. I had a great conversation with Ibrahima, my favorite guard on my street. We’re starting to cross the bridge from acquaintance to friend. While I was away at rural visit last week, he apparently had la paludisme (malaria), poor guy. But he’s better now!
3. While walking home I heard the sounds of guitar strings streaming through the night from off the sidewalk. It sounded live so I peered closer and saw two men playing guitar under a shack that recently popped up. I’d exchanged greetings with one of them, the shack’s proprieter, so I decided it was okay to approach. They warmly welcomed me and let me play a few songs. I’ve missed playing instruments so badly this semester, but it looks like I might get some periodic relief thanks to Sherif!
4. I made one more acquaintance on my street, Cheikh, who works every night shift except Thursdays. All I said was Ça va? and he eagerly started up a conversation. Guards lead such lonely lives!
Meeting all of these people has considerably lengthened my walks to and from school, but I’m definitely working towards Goal 2 of going beyond my American bubble to meet Senegalese people! I’m still operating under Stranger Danger safety rules, but I’m so happy to be progressing in leaving my bubble.