things move slowly

Things move slowly here.  I've asked so many times if I can view some houses or apartments, so as to find somewhere to live, and the answer is always the same (that they will contact the agent and get something set up for today), as is the result (nothing happens).

Maybe I shouldn't push it.  After all, for as long as I am in temporary accommodation, my employer pays for my bills, my food, my TV and internet subscription ... but clearly it wouldn't be right to collude in the delays for that reason.  Also, the apartment they have put me in is noisy, and has so little water pressure that I am required to shower out of a bucket most days.  So I keep asking.

I did view one apartment in the building I lived in for my last year here, but it was really dark and uninviting.  Finally last weekend, the day before I flew off to Bissau on my first assignment, I got two viewings.  The first a small, dingy place, with no kitchen to speak of, and in the middle of a building site.  The second, however, was much better - in a brand new building and with plenty of light - I said I'd take it.  Now back from Bissau it seems that nothing has moved forward, but the place is already furnished so should be ready to move into as soon as the paperwork has been signed.

With that worry off my mind, I decided to go out on Sunday, to go bird-watching.  Not so much for the birds, as the site has mainly waders in their non-breeding plumage (ie lots of brown and grey birds...), but to see if I could actually get there.  As ever, I try to avoid staying in a protected bubble, preferring to be part of the regular life - so public transport, not taxis.  I had stumbled upon a website that provides information on bus routes in Dakar, and was very proud of myself for travelling the 12km out to the suburbs on the number 46 bus and then finding my way into the Technopole site where the birds are.

It's a bit of wasteland really, with brackish water surrounded by mud, and with a cold wind blowing (I sell it well, I know...), and the birds are really skittish so it is hard to get close enough to even see what they are.

But the birds were there - gulls and terns and sandpipers and stilts, a small distant flock of Greater Flamingoes with a spoonbill hiding behind them, and this group of Pink-backed Pelicans.

As I was on my way out, trying to find a dry route back to the road, this Little Bee-eater flew in to welcome me back to Senegal:

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