Another day off, following the five-day holiday enforced by the hosting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference here in Dakar — a huge point of honour for President Wade, who pulled out all the stops to impress his visitors. Unfortunately the road building and other construction was months behind schedule, and even with labourers toiling through the night under portable arc lamps, the improvements were obviously superficial and slapdash. The most obvious example was the Soumbedioune Tunnel. The giant billboard proclaiming its opening is almost as large as the tunnel itself, which was temporarily opened for the visitors and which will shortly be closed again to finish it. As it is now, you bounce between the two lanes and try to avoid other cars bouncing your way.
What else? It’s much hotter than we had anticipated, and much dustier. Immediate plusses are the general openness and helpfulness of people, and the pleasure at being able to walk around downtown in safety … unlike Kingston.
I’m squatting in Mr B’s office at 10 pm (windup flashlight to guide me out), and as much as I’d like to post a couple of photos, … I’m knackered.
Happy Maouloud or Gamou … l’un et l’autre se dit ou se disent.