Tivaouane of Senegal was a small town. I was got off a bush taxi at taxi
pool. From there to the town center, I had to walk up for 1 km. After crossing
the rail, the road slowly curved and became an avenue. I was always relaxed
when I came into the greened oasis after long journey in the African wilderness.
Under the trees, houses and small stores were lined up.
As I had been told on the telephone, I visited the house in front of The
1st. hospital. "This might be the house which Zaal lives in"
I entered the gate. There was sandy yard, a main house in front and a detached
house on the right hand. I talked to a young woman who was hanging the
laundries in the yard. Then she brought Zaal from the detached house.
"Hi! Fumi""Hi! Zaal. I'm back." After all, I decided
to stay there for a couple of days. Like other residence of the house,
I had dinner with the family of "mama" landlord in the sandy
yard. Without any doubt, hospitality of Senegalese people was incredible.
I was often invited even lunch in some one's house. It's very helpful especially
in small town which had no restaurant at all.
Zaal had job for road construction. At 6 o'clock in the morning, horn was
honked in front of the house. And big truck picked up the workers. Zaal
said he operated heavy machine at the road construction site 100km away.
He showed me the operation manual of the machine. It's so thick like an
Once I was waken up with the honk of truck, I could hardly sleep again.
I laid back on the mattress on the concrete floor and saw the strong sun
light already sticking through the slit of the tin roof. With the sun getting
higher, the room temperature was rising. So I could not sleep any more.
I went to the shower hut with sleepy eyes and took a cold water shower.
While I stayed the room. Zaal's friends came one after another. I hosted
them. They were so interested in the Asian guest and asked me various questions.
Shortly after, a little neighbor also came.
Then two young women came to the room. They only spoke Wolof. So the conversation was often interrupted by silence. I loved the silence.
But for them, it might be felt a little bit uncomfortable. They told me
let them sleep on the mattress for a while. So I did.
In the dim concrete room, the strange two women were sleeping with stretching
their limbs on the mattress. I looked over the yard. In the dazzling African
sunshine, the woman of the main house was hanging up the laundries as usual.
"Portrait" Tivaouane, Senegal 2003
Room on the 6th 1/2 floor Asking nothing in return vol.1