Hot and Humid

Residence Atlantic, Dakar, Senegal | Lundi 2 Septembre 2013

I arrived at the Dakar Airport (DKR) at 00:25, on September 2nd.The first two words that came to mind: Hot and Humid. And let me tell you something, if you have curly hair, “hot and humid” are not the ideal weather.

Eu cheguei no Aeroporto de Dakar à 00:25, no dia 2 de Setembro. E as primeiras duas palavras que me vieram a cabeça foram: Quente e Úmido. E deixa eu te contar uma coisa, se você tem cabelo enroladinho, “quente e úmido” não são seu tipo ideal de clima.

It took me over an hour before I finally got a visa on my passport, and that was my entire fault. I brought all the papers I did not need, and forgot the most important one: my Registration Receipt. Without that, customs had no proof that I had paid for my visa and could not allow me in. After a long time bargaining and explaining my situation to the custom’s officer, he issued me a Short Term visa that allowed multiple entries in the country, and let me go through. However, when I finally passed that stage, and advanced to baggage claim, my suitcases were nowhere to be found, and no one was really in the mood to help. It had already been an hour since they had gone through the baggage carousels, and they were clearly not there anymore. After asking around, and retrieving them, I was ready to go home. But as I walked out of the airport, I could not find anyone to pick me up. No sign, nothing. I was ready to give up when a security guard asked me if I needed to call someone. After another hour rambling around, and impatiently calling the program coordinator at 2 in the morning – for which I apologize – I found someone who was responsible for picking me up.

Demorou mais de uma hora até que eu finalmente consegui um visto no meu passaporte, e isso foi minha culpa. Eu trouxe todos os papeis que eu não precisava, e esqueci o mais importante: a Confirmação de Registro. Sem isso, a alfandega não tinha nenhuma prova de que eu havia pagado pelo visto e não podiam me deixar entrar. Depois de muito tempo barganhando e explicando minha situação para um policial da alfandega, ele me deu um visto de Curto Prazo que me permite multiplas entradas no pais, e me deixou passar. No entanto, quando eu finalmente passei essa parte, e parti para buscar a minha bagagem, as minhas malas não estavam mais la. E ninguem estava pronto para ajudar, e memsmo la dentro era dificil identificar quem trabalhava para o aeroporto e quem não. Ja fazia uma hora que as malas tinham passado pela esteira, e outros voos ja tinham desembarcado depois do meu. Depois de perguntar por ai, e recupera-las, eu ja estava pronto para ir embora. Mas assim que eu sai do aeroporto, eu não vi ninguem me esperando. Nenhuma placa, nenhum sinal, nada. Eu estava pronto para desistir, quando um segurança perguntou se eu precisava de alguma coisa, se eu queria usar seu telefone para ligar para alguem. Depois de uma hora rodando o aeroporto, e impacientemente ligando para o coordenador do programa às 2 da manha, eu encontrei alguem responsavel para me buscar.

The beauty about traveling often, is that I always thought I could handle every situation I put myself into. I thought that I had plenty of experience, and even ordinary language barriers would not be a problem. But man! Sometimes all you want to do is stop the world and get out, go back home, and hide. Today was one of those days for me. I arrived at the Residence Atlantic at 2:30 in the morning. I was disappointed, not only with myself, for being forgetful, and unorganized, but with the country as well. After a cold shower, and a few hours of sleep I got up for breakfast. I did not know what to expect, but I was surprised by some delicious breakfast food, the lovely people and my deer class companions that had just arrived in the country.

A beleza de viajar constantemente, é que eu sempre pensei que poderia me livrar de qualquer situação na qual eu me encontrasse. Eu pensei que ja tivesse muita experiência, e que nem barreiras linguisticas seriam um problema. Me enganei! As vezes tudo o que você quer fazer é parar o mundo e sair, voltar pra casa, se esconder. Hoje foi um daqueles dias. Eu cheguei no Hotel Residence Atlantic às 2:30 da manha, e eu estava desapontado comigo mesmo, por ser tão esquecido, destraido, mas tambem com o pais. Depois de um banho frio, e algumas horas dormindo. Eu não sabia o que esperar, mas eu fui surpreendido por um café da manhã delicioso, pessoas amaveis, e os meus queridos companheiros de classe que haviam acabado de desembarcar no pais.

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15 thoughts on “Hot and Humid

  1. robchristopher says:

    And you must have been really jet-lagged on top of everything else! Hope the rest of the trip is more sedate.

    • Marcos C. says:

      After a certain point I think I just stopped thinking. The heat, the jet-leg, everything. But after sleeping and showering, I was extremely excited for being there. That made it the more fun.

  2. Visiting Africa seems like an experience apart from any other. I have been to Guyana, SA, and thus have a sense of what a rising nation offers. Every country, though, is entirely different. That’s the beauty, as well as the pain.

    • Marcos C. says:

      It’s just so different, it’s a lot less “western” than I thought it would be. They have kept a lot of their traditions, as well as their language, the Wolof. I’m happy I’m here, I’ll get to see so much. I already have seen so much.

  3. Barb Dusek says:

    Ah, reality finds you! But … you do not sit and squander your energy in this place often or for very long. I’m SO proud of you! Every once in a while just be still and know that you are being watched over – angels are in abundance everywhere you go!

  4. foxress says:

    With all your adventures, you’re bond to have some tough times. It must be worth it, though for all you get to experience.

  5. Violet says:

    Gorgeous photos!

  6. ashokbhatia says:

    Try Pondicherry in South India some time!

    • Marcos C. says:

      What is it like there? I would love to visit India one day. I actually had to choose between Senegal and India, and I was torn. But the French language made me choose this country. I still wanna make it to India though.

      • ashokbhatia says:

        It is hot and humid! This happens to be a former French colony and partly retains its old world charm. You may also like the concept of Auroville which is an international township nearby. Plan to try out India some time!

      • ashokbhatia says:

        Welcome! Most of the time, it is hot and humid!!

        Pondicherry happens to be a former French colony. Auroville might also be of interest to you.

        Regards

      • Marcos C. says:

        That is just so cool, I really hope to make it to India eventually. It must have amazing beauties.

        Thank you for stopping by,🙂

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