A letter to home
Tambacounda Travel Blog› entry 7 of 10 › view all entries
January 20th, 2007 – by: leah151
So we arrived in Tamba on Wednesday evening after one helluva bus ride. It broke down just as we commented on what good time we were making. We waited for them to attempt to repair it for at least 3 or 4 hours until finally a rescue bus arrived and took us the final stretch. Once we arrived at the compound, everyone came out to greet us and take our luggage. Life here is very rustic to say the least but we are settling in nicely. I sleep like a rock here despite any outside sounds. Anyway, we got settled in, had our first meal in Tamba, took a bucket bath with water drawn from the well, had a nice long nap to catch up from everything and was gently roused from sleep by a visiting musician playing ngoni which is sort of like an African guitar but has a very ancient feel and sound. He sang to us and welcomed us with song. Before our naps, we had a early drum session to just break into playing drums finally and I had an AHA moment where I realized that WHOA, Im playing drums in Africa!! We also played some more after the ngoni player left and had a little lesson with Abdoulaye then finally to bed for the nicest, deepest sleep I can remember in a long time. The next day we walked the 10 or so minutes into town to go with the dance teacher Rama to the cultural center where her troupe practices and I thought we'd just be watching but instead, I was directed to go dance with them and it brought the young Senegalese women much entertainment. I never know if they're laughing at or with me but it comes with the territory so at least someone is laughing! After that we went to the cyber cafe and I had a whole nice descriptive email ready to send only to have my time run out and lose everything so I decided another time. Yesterday (Friday) we stayed at the compound the whole day drumming and hanging out and I can't remember what else but it's great just passing the day away so peacefully and observing everyone speaking a language we're clueless of and watching the children play and laugh. There are donkeys, goats, pigs, chickens and other critters roaming all over the place and we often hear their calls outside the compound. The two pups play around the compound and eventually will be the official guard dogs although that remains to be seen since they aren't all that threatening now...they're more afraid of people than anything and only really trust the children. This is a wild place and I just keep saying that it's "no joke" because nothing is coddled here. I have so many stories since I've been journaling that it would actually take days to write it all down but I'll have many stories to share. I have to tell Pop about life as a truck driver on the road to Tamba. All I'll explain now is that it eats trucks and busses for lunch! I truly feel sorry for the truck drivers here....they have it rougher than any in the U.S. I told 'Adama english speaker' hello for you Kelly and she thinks we look like sisters. This place is so harsh and yet I understand why people keep coming back. There is so much happiness here (granted there's plenty of drama too but that's the beauty of not knowing the language...you don't have to get involved because you can't) and a lot of laughter and an appreciation for a simpler life. They are certainly thrilled to get our little gifts from America but I get the distinct impression that it wouldn't matter much either way. Gosh....so hard to explain. Anyway, I'll close now before I lose everything again and just want to let everyone know I'm doing great and everything is a fantastic adventure here. Sending my love and good wishes....
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