Thiaroye is a humid mess- sometimes it is only 25 degrees but it feels like 45 because the air is just so thick, so heavy.
Even with the ventilator, a film of sweat covers our skin and water always needs to be within a hands reach.
It reminds me of Australia and those hot school days spent within a scratchy uniform. I am still within hot classrooms without air conditioning, but instead of being a student, it is I who is the teacher now…
And I have to say that sometimes, that can be very tiring! Especially if you have three classes one after the other, from 15 until 18 o’clock non-stop. The smile of a child knowing his alphabet however, brings one back to reality.
In the evening, when dark clouds cover the sky, everyone knows it is time to run home if you don”t want to walk through knee-high water while getting absolutely drenched by the thousands of waterfalls falling from the sky.
If you made it safely back however, you hear the thunder, you see the rushing water and you smile, because, at least for a few hours, it will be cool and refreshing. And it is beautiful…
And who doesn’t mind a candlelit dinner?
Thiaroye in all your greatness, you are a wooden bench on which I slept at school, too lazy to go back home into the stuffy room.
You are laughter and the sweetness of ataya (Senegalese tea).
You are gossip and stumbles.
You are so familiar now that even though I am still a Toubab here, I am called Maimouna in the street.
You are so filled with colours, sounds and smells that sometimes things go so fast they become a blur. But everything has become a lot clearer these last few months. The blur has changed into distinctive forms, images which are now fixed into my mind.
My body, is not confused anymore but rather dances to the rest of the beat, the beat of the people of Thiaroye.
Image prise par A. Granier