Entry Date: 2/14/2012
Author: Magda Piatek, MD UIC Family Medicine Resident Physician
Valentine’s day has been quite an eventful day for the entire team. Before heading out to Dakar we met with Madam Guyen. She is a midwife in Thies who has been trained in cervical cancer screening and cryotherapy. This has been the last meeting of the day. About two hours later we arrived in Dakar. Cape Ouest, our final place of residence before heading back home, is a small hotel with simple décor but a phenomenal view. I can see the Atlantic from my small hotel window and hear the waves! However, tonight I did not fall asleep listening to the waves, none of us did. Andrew treated all of us to a concert of a local musician. The only catch was that the concert would begin at one am. We all napped for a few hours and headed out for dinner before the concert. The next several hours passed by very quickly. The food was amazing, partially due to the fact that we have been eating rice for the past 3 weeks. The company was great as well, with several other Peace Corps volunteers joining us. Next, the event we were all waiting for – the concert.
The VIP club was only a few minutes away from the restaurant. When we walked in at one am I was surprised to see very few people there. Slowly, more people started trickling in. One of my initial thoughts was how different this scene is from the village life where, for most individuals, the day ends shortly after the sunset. Here, it was the middle of a night and more and more people were showing up. Everyone was dressed to impress.
The music was blasting and no one (with the exception of our entire group) seemed to be concerned that it was almost two am and the concert has not started yet. We waited until 3 am and decided to return home to catch a few hours of sleep before a morning meeting. We never found out what time the artist actually came on stage. Was this a waste of our time? Far from it! This was yet another great experience in Senegal, emphasizing the difference and disparity between city and village life.