We are stepping into the tiny bedroom to greet our new friend's wife. She smiles and hands over her three day old baby to Dave. A bit perplex we are both holding the tiny bundle for a while, congratulating the new mum and dad. How did we end up here?
Actually we were trying to buy a SIM cards for our phones in Dakar. As we still would have to run our business while on holiday, one of our first things to do after arriving, was to get those with some credit to be able to read our emails. We ask Ibrahim working at our accommodation for help. Of course his friend knows a friend knows a friend who can help us out. A little later we are placed in a taxi taking us down the road, greeted by "MC America"* on the other end, the friend of a friend of a friend, who owns a small phone store at the market of Yoff (a district north of Dakar). MC America is a multi tasker. While he is trying to sort out our issue, he serves his other clients. He runs off multiple times, leaving us in his store confusing some of his clients: Does he have white shop assistants now? We ask him, if he ever got trained on cell phone technology? Of course he hasn't. It's all "learn yourself", watching youtube tutorials and looking other guys over the shoulder.
After about two hours of chatting and waiting we realise that it is too late for our initial plan to go downtown and visit Ile Goree. That seems to please our new friend: Instead of walking us back to a taxi, he invites us to his house. He decided to close his store again (regular opening hours? Come on, we are in Senegal!) and a few minutes later we are holding his baby in our arms.
Imagine! You just had a baby and your husband met some guys from Senegal in his Verizon shop. Instead of making some more business, he decides to close the shop and take them home. You smile, your aunts and mum will cook for them and you leave the house to chat to your girl friend and leave the baby with those two strangers in your bedroom.
This is just one of the many times I have experienced incredible hospitality and trustworthiness, especially in Muslim countries. Inviting people and sharing food is one of the most immanent aspects of their culture. MC America's explanation: His father taught him to host foreigners to make sure they are comfortable in a country they don't know anyone. Thank you, MC America - we wished we would have had the time to join the baptism of your son!
*MC America loves American rap, in his leisure time he is a DJ and loves to speak about himself of MC America.