We noticed one less-than-aesthetically-pleasing aspect about Dakar fewer than five minutes after we arrived: the street trash. There are no litter laws in Senegal – or at least no obvious ones – and trash cans are tiny and few and far between.
It’s common to see piles of burning garbage on sidewalks and in empty lots, no matter how affluent the neighborhood. There’s simply no other way to get rid of waste. Things like that have given us a whole new appreciation for America’s infrastructure. Though many of us do plenty of complaining about our government, experiencing one that operates so differently – and doesn’t have a tenth of the rules and regulations in place to protect its citizens – makes me grateful for the things we often took for granted, such as litter laws and water sanitation procedures.
Rachael Cullins is a twentysomething American girl living in Dakar, Senegal, with her husband and two dogs. She blogs about her adventures in Senegal and travels elsewhere in West Africa. She will reside in Dakar until summer 2013, when she and her family will move to another foreign post as part of her husband's career with the U.S. government. In addition to West Africa, she has traveled to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy and Costa Rica and plans to continually add to that list.
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