The Road to Dakar, Day 7


It’s my last morning… I have spicy coffee, pear yogurt, an egg, and French bread. We have a tightly scheduled day. I try to stay relaxed because I’m convinced of the exhaustion that lies ahead today. I know that completion will come down to the wire.

   At the shoemakers’, it takes twenty minutes to describe that a stone is not in the center of the cuff where it needs to be. There are five people in on this matter and I am drawing diagrams, losing patience … it is one of several moments where I wonder what I was thinking. 

   At 7 PM, Fifty Cent will meet us at Mme. Gueye’s, where I am already packed, and we will once again travel the road to Dakar, where I will sleep for a few hours before a 4 AM wake-up call for the airport. The road is dark this time and I wish I could see all of the eye candy one last time. 

   Fifty tells me he “like Mercedes” … he’s mastered this line. We really can’t communicate and I’m exhausted. We eat apples and we ride in the dark. I think about the heart and flavor of these gracious people and reflect on the week. It’s a land I’m drawn to, fascinated with … at every turn there is a photo op, boys of all ages and sizes playing soccer on a dirt road, so much skill in their shoeless feet it’s astounding … a goat, a mango tree, and a clothesline filled with color and sparkle frame a perfectly balanced image. Hundreds of bales of hay are piled high on a truck in a zig-zag pattern, as only these people can do … there is flair even in the mundane. 

   Cousin Nina writes and points out that I’m doing business in Africa. We’ve reached Dakar and I will board a flight back to the US in a few hours with all of my samples. I exhale for now and think … I’m doing business in Africa.


For the complete Road to Dakar series, click here.


alicia shulman

A beaded lariat from the new line inspired by travels in Senegal


alicia shulman

Cuffs with crochet work and beading

alicia shulman

A choker with tribal patterns in leather

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