Emily and I managed to untether ourselves from our computers on Saturday morning and caught a Touba bus over to HLM Marché. This market is known for having one of West Africa's most vibrant and eclectic array of fabrics, with tailors around every corner available to make a custom fit outfit for just about any occassion. Unfortunately, most vendors here also have been the subject of one too many tourist photo shoots, it seems, because there is a consistently negative reaction to my camera no matter how nicely I ask about taking a photo. However, the young girl in the first photo, named Hadeh, was actually excited to pose, maybe due to the conversation that took place beforehand.
Hadeh: Where are your sandals from?
Me: They're from America. From Colorado, in the middle of the country.
Hadeh: Oh. Col-OR-rah-doh?
Me: That's right.
Hadeh: Can I give you my phone number?
Me: Sure! Can I take your picture?
The boys in the 2nd photo took much more persuading, involving my refusing to pay them to take their photo (yes, every one of them), walking away, and then coming back and asking if I could take a photo if I bought some of their...um, for lack of a better term..teeth sticks. Senegalese people, young and old, male and female, rich and poor, can be seen with these twigs in their mouths because they taste good, clean your teeth, and supposedly calm your stomach. So I bought a small bundle and snapped my one allotted shot. Finally, the last photo was allowed because I bought 6 meters of cloth from this shop. Later this week I'll ask my friend Talla, the teenaged tailor that runs a shop next to our hotel, to make me a couple of skirts so I can get out of the boring brown one I wear literally every day.