Sunday, November 1, 2009


So everyday something interesting happens. Everyday is an adventure and it is hard to choose which stories to share on here. So I'll try to share them little by little.

Lets start with the most recent and scariest thing that happened to me so far....

Every friday night all of the Projects Abroad volunteers go out and have drinks or watch the amazing live reggae bands. Elizabeth (u.s.) and Amanda (u.k.) and I went to the Tavern and watched the reggae band there. The singer is a goddess with long locs that she wears in a high pony tail like a crown. At around 12 the other volunteers joined us. We danced most of the night and the feeling  of being able to sing "Africa Unite" in Africa, with other Africans and being African American was amazing. Everybody in the whole place was singing and it felt like the words we were saying was actually making africans around the world unite together as one. A guy said to me, "You're proud to sing Africa unite?" and I said, "Oui"

After the band finished I realized that all the people I would share a taxi with to go home, had left. The people that were left were no where near being ready to leave. I sat there for about thirty minutes thinking about how I wanted to get home. Do I want to wait till three in the morning for these  guys to leave? Our should I just go and get a taxi by myself? Plus all of the guys that usually bother me for my phone number or invite me over for tea were out  so going by myself was out of the question. I asked Yuen (france) if he was leaving anytime soon. He wasn't, but he said that he would accompany me to find a taxi. We walked down the street and turned the corner. On the corner there was a man standing there in regular clothing and he had a fanny pack. As soon as we walked up to him he pulled out a card the said "Police" on it. At first I thought, "O.K. this is a joke this guy isn't really a cop. But then he asked us for our  "Carte d'identite". Yuen pulled out a copy ofhis passport and guess what....I didn't have any form of identification on me. I have about three copies at home, but for some reason i thought i wouldn't need it. Which is dumb because I don't even live the house in the states without my liscence, because if something were to happen no one would know who I am.

So this officer told Yuen he can go, but I have to get in the police van that was parked across the street. Instantly Yuen started to say, "Non, Non, Non...." and pleading for me to be able to go home. These other guys walked up, the officer asked for their identity cards, they didn't have them, so he slapped handcuffs on them so that they were and cuffed to each other! Thats when my heart started to go crazy, and I started to tear up and freak out. Yuen kept pleading (in french) and telling him that I'm american and forgot my passport at home, and that I was on my way home. In the meantime I was crying and started to think about my momma,  about what would happen to me if I did get arrested. How long would I be there? What type of people will be there? Would I be able to survive the night or even one hour?

Yuen kept pleading and the officer was getting fed up with it, told him that he could go but I have to go to the van. So we walked over to the van, I was crying and Yuen was cursing in French. There was another officer by the van, and he looked at me like he wanted to eat me. He asked my name, looking me up and down, and where I live. I told him. And Yuen explained again my situation. The officer looked around, lookerd at me, and then said we could go!!! At wanted to run away from there!

On our way to find a taxi Yuen cursed again and said, "What ze fuck?!?!". He walked me to a taxi that a family was getting into and made sure they were going to Ndiolofene (where i live). I thanked him and the taxi took me home.

As soon as I got in my room I started crying more and I really wanted to call my momma or Bill, but I didn't have enought credit on my phone :( . So I just laid in my bed and thanked God for watching over me.

Fabrice, Juliette and Yuen called me and made sure I was ok. I thanked Yuen again and again and again. Because if he wasn't there I wouldn't have been able to speak french at that moment. Before going to sleep, I realized that we got comfortable here too fast. We need to remember that we are in a developing country, police are corrupt and people will rob us in the streets. I forgot, but from now on I will keep on my toes.


  1. OMG the same thing happened to me last Saturday except they took me to jail and I was crying the whole time. Notice i haven't written about it yet. too much

  2. Wow. I'm really glad you're OK, Patrece. Sounds like you ARE having an adventure over there. Madame Kuhn just sent me your blog site because I've been sending her updates from France. I didn't even know you were going to Senegal. Is it through Rotary? How much longer will you be there?

  3. Geez. I will keep copies of my passport the whole time in India. I will also be praying for you Patrece. Love to you. -Jason