Yesterday the group were set loose on a scavenger hunt around the market of Thies, and here are some of our reflections:
We did laps around Thies. Each time our circle grew, we would walk one more block in each direction and pass my shops and stands with growing familiarity. A street that was unknown an hour before was almost memorized. The men weld across from the restaurant and we bargained for soda at the corner of this street and the one where we stopped to look at books and buy pens. These streets are not remembered by names or addresses, but by faces, interactions and moments.
What I found interesting about the hunt was everyone let us talk to them even if they seemed busy. People who didn’t know what we were trying to say didn’t just brush us off; they tried to figure out what we were saying. The streets were so crowded with cars and people that I thought there may be a bus crash, but the people were confident about driving around people. Another thing was I saw a woman who was selling stuff just randomly cook a pastry, and I found it cool. Some people were chatting but I didn’t know that people on the street randomly said hi and kept walking. It was amazing. I love the energy here.
We went to the market! It was bustling! First we walked out and tried to find the market, and after a few turns, we found. Then we tried to buy a soda but our bill was too big. Then we talked by a clothes store and I bought and over priced towel. But when we got back to the hotel, I realized I already had one, then we bought snacks and I got some wafers. Yum! Then we returned to the hotel early and bought drinks. I got a sprite. Then the rest of the group came back. I also ran into another group during the scavenger hunt <3
On our second full day in Senegal, we were given the chance to complete tasks in a marketplace with out minimal knowledge of the languages spoken. Being an English speaker in an area swimming with French, Wolof etc. is truly and indescribable experience. The streets are nothing like what we see at home — full of motorbikes, house drawn carts and cars in the same place we were talking. One of the members of our group got lost for a short time, meaning that our group had to give up on our scavenger hunt and search the area. This forced the three of us to cover more ground than we otherwise would have. When we all met back up, we were able to share our journeys through this amazing country.
Une reflexion sur la chasse à Thies: Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais je veux vraiment passer du temps avec les hommes que j’ai rencontré pour la première fois ici. Je veux vraiment rendre visite à la maison de Hamady, dans le village de Samba et y lekk parce que maangi xiif. Je veux vraiment faire un tour du magazine du marchard Mamadou. Je veux lui connaître plus. Je veux, quand je le vois est il me voit dans la rue dire “ah, Mamadou, sama xaarit! Salaam alekhum!” Et puis, je veux qu’il dite “Malekum salaam, Raoul.” Ça fait pas due sens, mais ça c’est ce que je veux.
We had some nice interactions with people selling us things. I don’t even really know why the interactions were nice. There was one point there we were buying a towel from a man. We chose between different colors. There was something really calming talking to him in French and choose the “rose” color. There was also a stand where we bought some candy. I can’t say why, but it filled me with lighthearted feelings when I thanked the man for the candy and he nodded. Again, I really can’t say why I liked it so much. I hope I can have more interactions like that, maybe those where I talk with people more.