Thursday, January 28, 2010

the WARC

I'm under a lot of umbrellas here in Senegal--that of Yale, Mt. Holyoke, The Institute de Francais pour Etudiants Etrangeres, and Universite Cheikh Anta Diop--but the most important among these is the WARC, the West African Research Center, here in the Fann Residence of Dakar.

The WARC is a crossroads for international students, university professors, and researchers from all over the world.  It's a collection of offices and classrooms, with a library and a little restaurant that serves lunch for about 1500 CFA (around $3.50).  It's a shady, peaceful little oasis, with green things growing and trash cans for dechets and wireless internet and clean bathrooms.  In short, a very soothing place.

And now, some pictures.

the big sign over the main entrance

the tiles leading to the main entrance--I don't know what the blue creature is.

the big tent under which we eat our meals--the brown block on the left is the kitchen

the computer lab at the WARC

My schedule of classes at the WARC and at the University, in case you're interested:
Tuesday, 9 - 12 l'Histoire d'Islam au Senegal / 15 - 17 Wolof Language
Wednesday, 9 - 12 Genre et Developpement
Thursday, 9 - 12 Traduction Anglais, 13 - 15 Wolof Language
Friday, 9 - 12 Histoire de la Senegambie

Next week, Dakar empties.  Many of the residents will make their way to Touba, a city of religious significance for the Muslims of the Mouride brotherhood in Senegal.  It's a huge migration--there and back--over the course of 3 or 4 days.  Several students here are going, and are preparing by borrowing clothes (must be fully-covered, boubou-style) and by promising to look out for pick-pockets and drink lots of water. I have decided not to go...I'd rather see the city empty, and maybe even go to Magic Land, the only theme park here in Dakar, where there will hopefully be no lines for the rides.


  1.'s not my water bottle (mine has a sticker on it)...but maybe you know other purple water bottles in Senegal?

  2. Great post! Now I have a better sense of WARC.

    Don't you have a Monday class at the Institut?

  3. No, my schedule has changed. I decided to take English Translation instead of Dissertation. Funny story--I walked in to my first day of Translation and was handed some things to translate. I sat down and did it, and copied the others who handed their translations in and then left. Only when I got back to the WARC did I realize that had been a test. Wooooo. At least there was no pressure.

  4. Ooh, can we take guesses at the blue tile creature? I call anteater!