Author Archives: Elizabeth Fink

Extreme Blogging, That Is, Blogging about Extremes and Everything in Between: A Reflective Post

The blizzardous snow drifts in my backyard and the -45 degree windchills that have given my sisters three “cold days” off school in a row may be a far cry from the sweltering heat and sticky humidity that were the … Continue reading

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La Ville Vivante: Urbanization, Rurbanization, and Other Thoughts on Cities

I’ve never really given much thought to what makes a city a city. When I was little, The City was Chicago and meant skyscrapers, traffic, and sidewalks filled with quite a few more people than those of my hometown. Of … Continue reading

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Tea, Toddlers, and Other Things I Love: Living the Village Life in Keur Demba Ngoy Diakhate

I was shaking scraps of paper off the straw mat in our compound when my host-cousin Mathio pulled me aside, looked me in the eye, and said, “Tout le monde est content. Tout le monde est content.” We were wrapping … Continue reading

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Khar ak Khaliss: The Commercialization of Tabaski

“Knife-sellers love this time of the year.” Professor Mbaye, the psychologist who runs the children’s-rights organization where I intern here in Dakar, was sitting with crossed legs and lighted cigarette after an office meeting. It was our first day back … Continue reading

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A Land of Lines: A Week in the Rainbow Nation

Two Saturdays ago, my fidgety unslumber in the center economy-class seat of a South African Airways airbus, legs and neck braced awkwardly and eyes enshrouded in a light-blocking scarf, was disrupted suddenly when I jolted upright to a single urgent … Continue reading

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Sunset in the Sahel: Adventures at the Great Green Wall and Other Thoughts

“This guy is actually crazy.” Moutarru, the CIEE staff member traveling in the passenger’s seat, took advantage of a particularly unhurried herd of cattle to run around to the bed of the pickup and relay this warning to the ten … Continue reading

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Fresh Fruit and Fast-Food: The Culture of Nourriture in Dakar

Note: I wrote this on Friday but only just had the chance to publish it, on account of spotty Internet in my house and a wonderful weekend trip to a tropical paradise at Toubab Dialow, which will be recounted in … Continue reading

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Snapshots

With unprecedented frequency, today I found myself wishing that I had a little camera hidden in my head that took a picture every time I blinked. Whoever said a picture’s worth a thousand words probably never considered the conspicuousness of … Continue reading

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Cë dëgg-dëgg? Waaw, cë dëgg-dëgg!

This, aside from being the most satisfying phrase we learned in our “survival Wolof” crash courses, pretty adequately sums up how I’m feeling about my first week in Senegal. “Really? Yes, really!” Everything is new and exciting and fascinating and … Continue reading

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Under Sunshowery Skies: Thoughts from My Hometown, Three Days Before Departure

I was caught in an intensely beautiful sunshower yesterday, complete with sideways rain and a scraggly rainbow, at the intersection of US Highway 30 and Route 2 as I was heading back home from an afternoon of errands. That stoplight, … Continue reading

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