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Showing posts from 2016

So long 2016!

2016 is coming to an end.

 For once, I could not wait for the year to end. 2016 was a hard year for me, a year of change. It started all bright and happy but by March, it all went downhill. We were forced to move back home. We had to live in a country we have not called home for more than 18 years. Our life was unstable and filled with uncertainties. Every day was a struggle to re adapt to the culture and way of life in Senegal. It was hard and stressful. There were days I felt like going home only to be reminded that this was now my new and only home. There were weeks I cried at the drop of a hat. There were nights I contemplated suicide or running away. If I had been a celebrity with millions in my bank account, I would have checked myself into a facility due to exhaustion. But I did not have that luxury. Besides, it is not about the physical exhaustion. That kind, you get over it by taking a nap. It is the mental exhaustion that takes a toll on you. You end up wandering if you are …

I protest!

"Breathe in, breathe out!"

After a few frustrating months living in India, I had decided to not let outside influences affect me. I had decided to be Zen. I did fail a few times but overall I could control my emotions. Now I have to do the same in my own home country and it is not as easy.


I often said that India resembled my country in so many ways, negative and positive. The lack of service is one of those negatives. There is a rampant lack of service in Senegal in the public and private sector alike. People are slow to take care of you. Also, some of them are basically incompetent. But what I hate the most is that they do their work with the utmost poor attitude. They never smile and they are rude. Take this case: I had to buy a SIM card from a telephone company. I went with my husband to their store and waited for our turn . The lady who served us did not smile, barely greeted us and to top it all, she could not even set up my phone. She just gave up and return it. FYI, …

To Japan and back in a day!

Recently, I got to attend  a lunch hosted by the Ambassador of Japan in Senegal. He invited all the former Japanese government scholarship recipients who are now residing in Senegal in order to see if we could lend a hand in improving cooperation between the two countries.

I attended with the hubby and got to meet all the people I spent time with when I was studying in Japan. I had kept in touch with some over the years through Facebook mostly but other I have not seen in 16 years. It was such a pleasure to get to see them and talk. And when I got to talk to do that, I realized that they all have great jobs working for themselves or for a company. I was sitting in a room full of people with brains and smarts, and it gave me a chill to think about all the potential. It brings to my husband and I hope that we also can be successful in our own country.

Moreover I got to directly talk to the Ambassador. He seems to be a man of great poise. He took the time to talk to each and everyone of …

Keeping up with the Diops*!

*Diop is a common family name in Senegal.

Being back in my home town of Dakar, there are few things that I started to notice. One of them is that Dakar became a big construction site with houses, buildings, roads and so on. Moreover, every single lot is taken, even in the remote places where people did not want to initially live in. At this rate, I am afraid that in the future my kids will not be able to purchase a house, let alone a lot in this small town. On top of that, Dakar is saturated. There is traffic almost everywhere, people are jammed in small apartments, and need to go outside to have a little air in this heat. Markets are so crowded, that they surpass their normal areas and come all the way to residential areas. Sometimes I feel like I live in Bombay or Tokyo. It can make one feel very claustrophobic.
But one phenomenon that has hit me the first weeks since our return is the luxury that people wrap themselves around in this city. For a developing country, there are many 3…

Networking

Hello there!

I am sorry that I have not been steadily blogging in the past months. It is hard to find the time in my new life and the lack of Wi-FI is not helping as well. But I am getting there.

Today, I would like to talk about Networking.

  Now that we have almost settled back home and that the kids are back to school, it is time to concentrate on finding a job. I have not really worked since 2009. I have never worked back home either. Therefore, you can understand that I am dreading the hob hunting process. I have been responding to ads here and there but so far no answers. It may be so because I have not been networking.

In Senegal, everything works with connections. I have been told that if I wanted to even get a foot inside the door of any company, I needed to know at least one person working there.You need to know someone, who knows someone to get something. There is no need to send resumes and respond to ads because no one will even read them. All I need is a good connection.…

What do you wear when you meet the POTUS?

Did I tell you about the time I met Bill Clinton?

I am not sure of the date but it was in late March, early April 1998. Bill Clinton as president of the United States came to visit my country Sénégal. He was also to visit Goree Island, an historic site where my boarding school was ( and still is) located. We, as students were supposed to welcome him by singing the Senegalese national anthem while some other students from the Kennedy middle and high school (which is a Senegalese school would sing the American national anthem. As students and teenagers we were so excited because we considered Bill to be a cool president. We were on Easter break but we still came back to the Island to rehearse hard with our music teacher even if singing the National anthem (that we knew by heart since Elementary school) was a no brainer. But everything had to be perfect because we were representing our country to the world ( we knew that all cameras would be turned on us at that moment).

The day before B…

Privacy request!

Hi! It has been two months now since we moved back in my home country. It has been hard. I am tired, stressed, worried, frustrated. But it was all to be expected. What gets me the most is the lack of privacy. I used to be by my own half of my days when my husband worked and the kids were at school. I used to take my breakfast alone and then proceed on different tasks for me or my family depending on the days. I used to take walks, go sight seeing or window shopping by myself. I used to blog, or sew. I enjoyed being on my own.




Scarf - stolen from my Mom
Shirt - F.C. road
Top - 390 Mart
Pants - Dmart
Shoes - M.G. road
Bag - gift from Hubby
Hair pin - Chandan Nagar market
Earrings - gift
Necklace and Mickey Mouse ring - Clover center





But in Senegal, it is very hard to be by yourself unless you live in a very remote place. And even then, people will hunt you down to be with you. People live in community. People do things in community. We cook together, we eat together. We cannot even phantom the id…

Wrapped Burrito

I may have mentioned it once or twice on the blog before but my mother in law is a designer. She designs and sells clothes. It is at a small scale right now but she hopes to grow. One of the advantage of having a fashion designer in the family is free ( or almost  free) clothes. Every time we come on vacations, the entire family get to sample her latest design. It is usually ethnic wear therefore we get to showcase them for religious or family events.

Recently, I was given yet another garb. It was a salmon pink linen tunic dress with orange accents and white embroidery at the collar and waist. The dress was a bit long and large but I did like the fabric and the simple design. However I gave it to her tailor to alter it a bit. What came out of his machine was this:




Scarf - Dmart
Tunic - gift
Leggings - M.G. road
Shoes - Westside
Ring - M.G. road

Truth be told, I am not happy that the tailor shorten the length and tighten the dress. However I have to admit that I did ask for it. But I j…

When Middle East meets South East (Saree Party 3)

Hi Dears!

Back in March, I attended another Saree party.

I was lucky this time because while fabric shopping back January, I spotted a half stitched Lehenga and Pallu set in red gold green and orange colors. It was half off so I did not hesitate to purchase it. When I heard of the Saree party, I returned to the same shop to get a fabric for a blouse. I settled for a golden orange one that would match the rest of the outfit perfectly.


I wanted to make a cropped blouse with a ruffle hem because I became so obsessed with them. They seemed easy enough to try and after watching numerous videos on YouTube,  I started making the blouse. As usual, I underestimated the time it would take me to make the blouse. It took me two full days and I was not even satisfied with the end resuslt. And to add insult to injury, when I wore it on d-day, there was a tear on one of the sleeves. I wanted to scream and cry!

But since I had no time at all (the event was already starting) I dug a dress my Father bo…