WAIST 2005 — Part #4

Ahh, all done: one, two, three and this is four. A grand total of:

Words: 7717
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Jesus, I’m long winded…

2005/02/22 — Tuesday — Day 5

MTV Morning: I woke back up a couple hours later as Dan and Caleb were packing up to head out. I had no desire to move and Leah was going to be in town for a couple days, so I rolled back over and fell back asleep.

Chez Lucia: I was phoneless however,so this meant that I had to go from one prearranged meeting to another. Lunch for the day was at a Cape Verdian place downtown called Chez Lucia. It was absolutely crammed when I got there. I ended up sitting with Leah and Ben and getting serenaded by come random fellow in Serare before we got a table.

The food was really good and there was a ton of it. I couldn’t say the name of my dish at the time I ordered it, so I certainly can’t remember it now. It was sort of a chicken corn stew spread over rice. Everyone ate really well and we all left satisfied. Ben and I got in a bit of trouble for savaging off of other plates. The people were done with them though, so I don’t see as it was anything other than just not being wasteful.

2005/02/23 – 25 — Wednesday – Friday — Days 6 – 8

Blur: Honestly I think I damaged my brain somehow during the course of WAIST. I can remember very little from the next three days. Memories:

  • I went to get ice cream with Leah and talked about her not eating things with four legs and possibly joining the Israeli Army
  • I traded favors with the IT guy for Peace Corps Senegal and got him some info on Cisco courses in exchange for a cable to repair the router in Aioun. (That cable was an absolute bitch to find. I’ve found one person with a cable here in Nouakchott and they want 12000um ($45) for a part that costs $1.50 on the internet. Finding it in Dakar was nearly as difficult)
  • I watched a good half dozen movies at the Peace Corps’ house in Dakar. They had a literal wall covered in VHS cassettes
  • I caught up with Diagina’s cousin and traded drugs with him. Diagina has an ulcer and they don’t sell the drugs in Mauritania that he needs. He had some sent up from Senegal before, but they were the wrong dosage, so I was part of an exchange
  • Wandering around Liberty 6 asking for where the Peace Corps house was. Before coming down the Peace Corps’ office in Senegal sent us all a notice telling us about the many marauders wandering the streets of Dakar that would take our money and life if we gave them half a chance. I eventually gave up and called the house for directions
  • Riding around with Guy and Leah listening to Guinean music. A little bit softer than my usual fare, but good stuff quand même
  • Watching a opossum sized rat pace back and forth across the wall behind the Peace Corps’ house
  • A metaphor relating kisses to flying. That perhaps if I found myself with the ability to fly I might just sort of float around even if I didn’t have anywhere to go; just to relish the gift. Discovering that there’s a pretty girl who doesn’t hit me when I try and kiss her being much the same
  • Wearing the same dirty jeans for three days because I had no choice. Granted, a very small amount of forethought could have gotten my pool pants dried, but I lacked even that small amount
  • Giving Leah tabs from various Coke cans. I’m not sure if I ever explained that they were redeemable or what they were redeemable for

Goodbyes: As with all good things, this one eventually had to come to an end. Leah and I had the “this has been fun, but we live in different countries and are both headed to parts unknown soon” talk. I was a bit sad, it’s unarguable. I’m just glad to have gotten a good week.

2005/02/26 — Saturday — Day 9

Dragging Home: Bright and early in the morning, Leah helped me hunt down a souvenir bottle of gin to take home and I headed off. I made it to the garage pretty quick, but it took almost an hour before we left town. This was a bit of a problem since the border closes at 6pm and I was too poor to spend another night in Senegal. When it was 5:45 and we got a flat, I started to get a bit worried.

We finally pulled up to the border at about 6:30. There was now a formalities fee of 1000cfa that everyone had to pay. When I came up though the guard just smiled at me and told me he liked Peace Corps, how cool. To get across then we had to deal with the pirogue guys. Normally crossing is 300cfa. One fellow told me 500cfa and then another said 2000cfa. There were some Mauritanians crossing with me and I decided to let them negotiate the price. For me, I didn’t like the idea of paying any more than I had to for financial reasons. Mauritanians and Senegalese though till have some serious issues dating back to the events of 1989. For the Mauritanians it was a racial thing and so I knew they’d fight a hell of a lot harder than I would. In then end it was 1000cfa.

Once across there was a customs officer waiting. He told me that the border was closed and that I couldn’t cross. The pirogue had already left and I pointed this out to him. He said we would have to call another to come and take me back so I could sleep in Senegal. I told him that I didn’t have enough money to cross again and that if I had to I would sleep on the ground right here. I was more than willing to play the waiting game and he could tell, so eventually he gave up and took me to write my passport in the book. I gave him 750cfa for his trouble even though I’m pretty sure I could have not done anything.

So I bribed my way over the border for just over $2. How cool is that? The funny thing is that Marc arrived at almost the exact same time the day before and he got thrown in jail. I must just look nicer or something. ☺

I spent the night in Rosso mostly hanging out with Stephanie and watching Shrek 2. She gave me some insights into the nature of women and a hair mask. Thus equipped I hopped into the back of a pickup truck with 15 other people and a mere three hours later I was back home. Almost immediately, my phone was stolen. Home sweet home.

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