First Impressions

It’s our second day in Kaolack and we’re currently all in the IT centre catching up on everything back home. The market here is huge and similar to the sukh in Marrakesh. We had our first Wolof lesson today, which went pretty well and we’re all able to say the basic greetings and replies. Everyone here loves Orlando, the volunteer from last year, it seems like he was the local celebrity. We’ve experienced our first tropical rain storm and it’s rained quite a lot since we’ve arrived here, which is nice as it makes it seem less boiling. The locals are really friendly and we often hear shouts of ‘toubab’ or ‘white person’. SJ and I walked into a shop this morning to buy butter and a young child screamed and cried at the sight of us, much to the amusement of her mother. A lot of the people here speak English, some are studying law and another English and American literature, including Shakespeare, which seems amazing for someone who is third language English. Although we’re learning Wolof, the main language of Joal is Serere and the family we’re staying with speak Pulaar, as they’re from the North. It’s going to get pretty confusing! We rode on some motorbikes to the market last night and the drivers seemed to be racing with each other, so that was slightly worrying, but fun. At the beach in Dakar I realised just how different the sea is here. When I was out of my depth, (though Julia could still stand of course!) I kept getting pulled back and was very relieved to get back on the sand after a little while of struggling. I’m really enjoying it here so far, it feels like we’ve been here for ages, though it’s only been a few days. I imagine our concept of time is going to vary quite a lot over the year.

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