A Photographic Expedition Into the Life and Times of Rëky Thiaw

Thea Holcomb - Senegal


May 31, 2017

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Featured are six photos that provide a glimpse into my day-to day life in Senegal.


 


What we choose to share about ourselves tends to be aspirational. I may be the proudest owner of a pair Chacos (and the accompanying Chaco tan) to ever have existed. The skirt was made by yours truly at the tailoring “apprenticeship” that never amounted to anything more than making that singular skirt. I’m standing by a gorgeous, healthy plant- giving the impression that I am one with the Community Garden of Yendane. The truth is that I mostly just watered tomatoes. 




A typical evening in the garden. As usual, we’re watering tomatoes. Among other excellent produce featured in this garden, there are around a hundred tomato plants.



 

Pictured is my two year old niece chilling on a cooler. Senegalese people grow up being able to squat like this with absolute ease for hours.



 

The afternoon before I left my site for the last time, at the instruction of my dad, I took this photo of a particularly beautiful rooster. As evidenced by the knife in the background, you can tell that he was delicious, served with vermicelli and onion sauce that night.



 

This was taken in the moments before I saw my Bu (dad) for the last time. We left site on a holiday, so as chef de village, he was obligated to attend festivities in another community. The relationship I developed with my host father was one of the most important aspects of my time in Senegal. He’s undoubtably the best practitioner of unrelenting kindness who I’ve ever met.





This is a phone photo I took early in my time in Senegal. The sunsets were frequently this fiery. I will remember the first 28 days as some of the most uncomfortable, unhappy, and unpleasant moments of my lifetime. One of the only things that kept me moving into the next months was taking time to remember that I was living in a truly beautiful place. I rose from that month like a phoenix, if I daresay so myself.

Thea Holcomb