<< magazine top >>

It began with The Unite 4

I'm standing on the sandy hill. There is banana plantation below my sight. I see a small hut in the middle of the plantation and tiny smoke is rising up from it. It might be preparation for the dinner, I guess. Beyond the banana plantation is vast green area and ponds of reservoir. When I look over, I can see the skyline of downtown in Dakar far away. Sands are blown by the wind and rustle on my legs. However slightly cooled evening breeze is much more comfortable than hellish heat of the day time.

I've got my own time at last. I take sigh. The place where I can be alone is now in Arabic style bathroom or here on the hill. Staying in the living room of the ordinary house means that I don't have private space at all. Unless I'm in the room, I have to receive the guests at any time. To be honest, I'm getting very tired of it. "So why not get out the room?" Well, at small town in suburb of Dakar, Asian is one of the biggest target of people's curiosity. I'm always surrounded by the people like a magnet which is stuck by iron sands. Children are chaffing from distance. Adults give me various questions. The old invite me to the dinner. As a matter effect, I'm never left alone all the day. However fortunately, I've never felt any racial discrimination in their attitude. Basically, Senegalese people are very friendly. And of course, they have full of curiously.

"So It's very nice to you being surrounded by the people. Because you take the portrait" You may say so. Yes, that's true. But I want to be left alone sometime, you know? Contrary to the vast wilderness, population rate of African cities are extremely high. In Africa, only place where I can be alone is toilet seems something irrational to me.

After all, I can't find quiet place even for reading. And I walk up on the sandy hills at the end of day. Then I look over the scenery. It becomes my routine. Hearing voice of pray from the mosque, I spend the time alone. This is the most peaceful time in a day. When the sun goes down, I leave the hill. On the way back home, I'm invited the people I don't know for the dinner. I accept it. I thank for them, and go back to home. Tonight also, another guests might be waiting for me in my room. I feel full not in my stomach but in my mind.

Those are from journal of my first days in Senegal. I was so nervous. However, my tough experience in Dakar Parcelles Unite 4 (Parcelles means agricultural or residential zone) was very useful to comprehend Senegal and the people. The network of friends also began at the Unite 4. Whenever I visit Dakar, I stop by there. I can see the familiar faces. And if course, I can see the sandy hill.

Aug. 2006

Today's piece
"La colline du vent" Dakar, Senegal 2002

City of fatal ties Mauritania vol.2 Shinjuku-bred, Matsudo-bred
Lookin' up and keep walkin' vol.1 L'hotel Sobo-Bade vol.1 Migrant workers in Bore airport vol.2

fumikatz osada photographie