This is inevitably what people imagine about how we live when I tell them we live in Africa.
Here’s the thing: Dakar is a big, urban city. Tall concrete buildings, paved roads, traffic circles, highways, buses, taxis, road construction, air conditioned restaurants, grocery stores, ambulance and police sirens going off at all hours. Of course, there’s also the random herd of cows creating traffic jams on the highway, maybe 10 stop lights, no traffic laws (that are enforced, anyway), and guys weaving in and out of traffic jams selling cashews, Kleenex, and giant framed portraits of maribouts (religious leaders) window-to-window.
Grass huts are pretty scarce within city limits. So I live on the seventh floor of an apartment complex made up of 9 yellow concrete buildings. We have running water. Western toilets. Semi-reliable electricity. A washing machine. And furniture from Ikea. It’s cozy and comfortable and colorful and I love it…and I was inspired by my blogger friend over at Senegal Daily to give you a little photo tour of chez nous.
As I was snapping these photos, I was struck by how much of our home has been constructed in — and influenced by — West Africa. When we arrived in 2012, we had 10 suitcases among the five of us. Not much to start with. But since then, we’ve managed to collect all the things that turn empty rooms into places you love.
So, for those of you curious about how we live on the other side of the Atlantic, here you go. (Note that the only reason this photo tour is possible is because our house helper was here today to dust and sweep! Mille fois merci, Christine!)