There are many differences between the United States and Senegal (duh), but there’s one Josh and I notice most often: the lack of rules here. See a sidewalk? Park on it. Meet a girl you like? Tell her you love her within 30 seconds of meeting her. Need to pee? Drop trou in full view of traffic. Want to get up close and personal with wild animals? Hey, it’s your face, risk it if you want to!
This particular monkey at Bandia Nature Reserve was far too content getting banana slices from easily amused visitors like me to do any face-ripping. During her visit to Senegal in early January, my best friend took it a step further: she went into a chimpanzee cage at the zoo. (The furthest I’ve gotten is climbing – invited by a guide – over the separation bars and scratching his head. Damn.) She doesn’t speak French, but gesturing to the zoo worker that she wanted to enter the cage and hold the chimp got her in. He was sweet (the chimp, not the zookeeper, although I’m sure he was perfectly nice, too), luckily for her face.