Guy and I are getting ready (it seems like nonstop) for the move to Dakar, Senegal in August. Before then, he and I (sans enfants-do you like how I worked some French in? I haven’t had to speak or think anything French since I left Luxembourg December 1992!) are going to Dakar in March so that we can do things like:
- See what the housing might look like
- Determine what household items we need to pack-what does a furnished home come with? Are there overhead lights? Should we bring lamps? Candles? Batteries?
- Figure out how you buy a car (and what kind of car would be best in an environment very different than Ohio. I can’t count on Consumer Reports helping me out this time!)
- What is the route from housing to school
- What is the route from home to grocery
- What items are or aren’t regularly at the store (Are there any grocery store or Target type store items that I should be packing instead of thinking I can just pick up like we always do?)
- What kind of clothing and footwear are kids wearing to school
In addition to those kind of practical things, I also have things like this that I’m thinking about:
Do I really need to keep this ugly winter coat I’ve had for 15 years since there won’t be any “just in case” I have outdoor recess duty when it’s a negative wind chill? (My children refer to it as the marshmallow coat—Goodwill here I come!)
Will be there signs of seasons changing there that I’ll learn to look for like Ohio’s first crocus, hostas corkscrewing out of the earth, and silly little groups of tiny birds arguing over a worm? Or is it always so warm that things like vegetation or birds don’t change year round?)
What grocery items do I count on that I might not be able to recognize without a picture? (I’m thinking I should see if I can find a French grocery store online and look up some staples to see what they look like in their packaging).
What exactly does 1000 pounds of belongings look like. Is that a lot? Just a little?
Should I buy a French press coffee maker so that I don’t have to count on the electricity being on every morning?
What am I going to do with my hair? (Without my awesome hair dresser)
I’m sure you have things you are wondering about or think I should be thinking about. Please feel free to put them in the comment section so I can try to figure it out before August.