Fall break in Dakar

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I had a change of plans for my fall break. My original plans were to go to Gambia. If you don’t know, Gambia is located within the country of Senegal. In fact, when I was at my rural visit in Niodior, I was a 5-hour boat ride away from the tiny country. I figured it would be fun to travel for the break and to visit another West African country. However, as I was thinking about fall break, I felt a strong urge to stay in Dakar. So, that’s what I did.

Map of Senegal and the Gambia.
Map of Senegal and the Gambia.

Fall break officially started this past Monday on October 24th and continues until next Monday, October 31st. I’ve been using my time at home to relax, spend more time with host mom and siblings (I get to play with the one-year-old and two-year-old all day!), and explore the nearby neighborhoods a little more around . I live in a neighborhood called Sacre-Coeur 3 but nearby neighborhoods including Liberté 6, Amitié 3, and Mermoz among others.

I have a friend who lives within walking distance of my house and we’ve walked around just to see what’s nearby us. We tend to do this a lot and always end up finding something  new. In our latest adventure, we found a great fabric shop, another nearby food spot, and another bakery in Sacre-Coeur. Earlier in the week, we found a cute cafe called Simone Cafe in the neighborhood of Mermoz. It’s a Brazilian tearoom with a cute menu that includes cheesecake, Brazilian desserts, and a few savory items like empanadas and keba.

Cheesecake! It was 3,000CFA which is about 5.40 US dollars.
Cheesecake! It was 3,000CFA which is about 5 US dollars.

I also had the opportunity to help in the process of making ditta juice. Ditta is a small green fruit that has a stringy core and a soft outer flesh. While I was at Niodior I ate the fruit by itself but I had no idea that it could be turned into a juice. A bucket of ditta was delivered to my house and all of the fruit was placed in a big bowl so that the thin outer shell could be removed. I was in charge of breaking the shells of the fruit. I did that for a while but ended up having to miss out on the rest of the process to distract the kids. They kept coming in and out of the kitchen so I left the kitchen to play with them. However, I did drink some juice and it’s honestly amazing. It has a sweet and slightly sour/tart taste that I really like.

Ditta juice from my house.
Ditta juice from my house. I can also buy it from a nearby restaurant for less than 1 US dollar.

My break has been a really nice reprieve from the sun, Dakar traffic, and school. Although I did not travel anywhere, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time at home. Who knows, perhaps I will travel to another country when I go to Ghana!

Until next time,

Su