Sept 19 – À la Stade du Football

Halfway through the game (one of many games for the tournament)

Had a crazy time at the local stadium in Dakar where we watched the regional games for the football (soccer) tournaments. It was so cheap to get in, only 300 CFA (60 cents!) so a lot of locals were there watching their neighborhood teams. Getting into the outdoor stadium was a challenge unto itself. They have this tiny arch door for everyone to get in and there was a crowd of people when my friend, Chelsey, and I arrived. We’d never been to the stadium before and after we got out of the taxi we just followed some Senegalese going into this part of the stadium that we thought was the football game. Wrong. We walked into a volleyball tournament. Great! I freaked out a little bit and just imagined that we were at a completely different stadium than our friends who were already at the game. In our frantic franglish we asked this Senegalese man where the football game was and he told us to walk around to the other side of the stadium.

            I was just glad when we got inside and saw people we knew. Chelsey and I yelled, ‘Toubabs!’ (Wolof for ‘white person/foreigner’) One of our friends brought her Senegalese host brother and his friends and they led the way to our seats. Anytime we go out in a semi-big group (3 or more Americans is even big) we always get stares and hear ‘Toubab!’ by Senegalese. You kinda have to get used to it all the time.

Some Senegalese guys that we went to the game with

 We sat in this section which was full of mostly Senegalese men and hardly any girls. So our group of 7 American girls made up a good majority of the girls in our section. The game was fun to watch, I don’t really know the rules of football so I could only keep up when someone scored a goal. But, I just had a blast sitting there and watching the Senegalese react to every move on the field – let me tell you, they get REALLY into the game. Basically, each county/region of Senegal has their own team and right now is the football season and they all play against each other for the national championship. Every time the team we were cheering for missed a goal, ALL the guys would shoot up, make gestures with their arms and yell something really fast in Wolof and then sit back down.

Unfortunately, the team we were cheering for lost the game but it was exciting to see another local event and hang out with more Senegalese people.

Chelsey, Grace and I at the game!

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