Have a good weekend!

Here are some interesting reads from this week:

The French are fighting back against 24/7 on-call work culture.

Reducing your language learning baggage, or: “All you need is to keep going.”

An interesting article about the E.U.’s swelling language roster.

The most misused words in English (I am forever getting bemused and nonplussed wrong).

And finally, the New York Times has just released its annual “52 places to go” list, and it has me feeling slightly possessive and territorial because Botswana is on there. Stay away, please; it’s all mine in 2017!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. The photo is apropos of nothing, really. I saw the can in the supermarket and thought it looked like gorgeous art. Also, this week I did roast chestnuts for the first time ever. They were delightful even though half the joy of eating them is the wintry feeling and it is in no way, shape or form winter here. (Thank you, Mark Slomiany, for that one time you made them and I saw how easy it looked!)

home again, home again


Landed back in Dakar on Wednesday morning at 3am, two hours late and in the midst of a downpour. It was hotter and more humid, by a long shot, than I’ve yet experienced here. And it has continued to be stifling and sweaty the rest of this week.

Still, it’s nice to be back. I call this place home, but it only halfway feels like it because of how much time I’ve spent out of town since I first arrived. It would have felt like cheating to skip out on Senegal’s rainy season altogether. And the speed with which I dispensed with my money during my one month of vacation had started to worry me. Especially after I got word, halfway through the trip, that the job I was supposed to start tomorrow has been delayed indefinitely. Eeks.

I’m now waiting to hear about three separate video projects, in Benin, Equatorial Guinea and Burkina Faso. I would be thrilled to do any of them, not only for the work but also for the travel. I figured going to three new countries in the space of five weeks would calm my wanderlust but it only fueled it. In Ethiopia, my friend and I started calling out names of countries we wanted to visit and we didn’t stop until we had basically listed everywhere on earth. Just saying the names of those places out loud and rapid-fire got me tipsy with euphoria. And in Johannesburg, I hung out with a group that included a guy who told a story about borrowing his mom’s bakkie (South African slang for a 4X4, derived from Afrikaans) to go on camping safari in the Botswanan Kalahari. My eyes were like saucers and I informed him, “If you ever go again, I am coming with you. It doesn’t matter when. Just let me know, and I will be there.” And then everyone else wanted in, and it was agreed: 2017 Botswana road trip.

BOTSWANA ROAD TRIP. What kind of amazingness is my life right now, that that is an actual thing that could actually happen? What kind of transcendental awesomeness is it that I could tell myself – and realistically mean it – that when I return to Southern Africa to go to Botswana, I should add at least four weeks on to the trip in order to properly see the parts of South Africa I missed this time around, to climb the orange sand dunes of Namibia, and to check out Lesotho, Swaziland, and Zambia while I’m at it. And to maybe fly to Madagascar, too.

Of course, that’s all dependent on me getting my next job so that I can finance such craziness. So for now I will stay happily put in Dakar, hustling and crossing fingers for good news.

I’ll post vacation pix here as soon as I sift through them all…

In the meantime, have a good weekend!

P.S. Here are two cute things I read today:

How kids around the world get to school.

Lost luggage goes to America’s greatest thrift store.