Unexpected gems

The fun part of going to fieldwork, among discovering and re-discovering local culinary delicacies, is coming across ‘data’ in ways that you had not even imagined. This is even sweeter in a country like Senegal, where documents and archives are sometimes hard to come across.

In Senegal, you have street / corner shops, teeny tiny spots at every neighborhood or street corner - in Nouadhibou (Mauritania), these shops were often arranged in an empty ship container too. They are called ‘boutiques’, and no, this term does not refer to the fancy high-end shops you may find on Fifth Avenue or strolling along the Champs-Elysées in Paris. You can find any daily amenities in those ‘boutiques’, ranging from the daily baguette (fresh from the bakery/bread factory) to powder laundry detergent contained in small plastic bags. When you buy your bread, the owners will wrap it up in some sort of paper. Often times it is a page off a newspaper, a magazine, but you can also find old receipts or some seemingly document.

Imagine my surprise when I found this at my breakfast one morning in Saint-Louis!

This is a list of candidates by one of the political parties, Bunt-Bi, for the legislative elections of July 2017, and you can see the names of the candidates are composed of men and women, alternatively. Gender parity in action, ladies and gentlemen!