It is our last day in Dakar! We just made our final presentation to our client and it’s time to send in my obligatory blog. Lest you think IBD was a nonstop adventure, I wanted to offer a 24 hour glimpse of our experience in Dakar.

By our last week we developed a pretty standard rhythm to our day and are feeling fairly comfortable with it.

Just before 9am, I run down to the pastry shop next to our hotel and buy some pastries and bread for breakfast. At 9am the organization’s driver, Souleyman Ba picks us up and drives us the 10 minutes to ACI. This is a picture of Souleymon and me.

Souleyman really likes to make fist gestures, no joke (and I apparently like to accompany them with a scrunchy face.)

At the organization, we hole up in a room, make our tea or instant coffee and eat breakfast. We work on our presentation and papers until around 2pm. 2pm is lunchtime and ACI has a woman come buy and prepare large, Senegalese rice and meat lunches for ~$2 a person. Here is a picture of the rest of my team eating our first such lunch:

We work again until 6:30pm or so and then stop by the executive director’s office (or home!) for a check-in before we leave.

Souleyman drives us back to the hotel.

We take 45 minutes to chill out and change out of our work clothes, before figuring out dinner.

Kojo brought some bootleg exercise videos called P90x. (The x is for extreme). We performed this routine in our hotel’s conference room on more than one occasion.

By the third week we are almost exclusively ordering in food or making a sandwich and watching bootlegged movies while we eat.

After dinner, it is back to work, Skyping family and friends, or reading before bed.

—Jon Katz

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