Senegalese Sprinting Society

2005 > Senegal

Not quite Olympic speed, but don’t start slaking yet

cute, h?
Pick one, any one
the quick one
Can you say ‘longitude’?
Ever wonder how to attract the attention of kids in Africa? Well I can tell you exactly how to captivate an entire mob of kids in Senegal: run by with a GPS and a digital camera. Now you can just run by and they’ll call and maybe run with you for a bit, but if you have toys, preferably cool toys, you now have an instant fan base.

Today, trying to shake off the lethargy of another long day sitting at the computer, I went for a four mile run out to Pointe des Almadies and back. On my way, I passed a group of kids playing. Stopping to play with them, I was a hit.

First we had the limited name exchange, complete with the class mimic who would shout every thing I said. Then there was the hand-holder who held onto either palm the second it came in his reach. Next we had the question kid, who I’m sure was doing the ‘What’s this? What’s that?’ in French. Last but not least, the leader, who was cool in approach and quick in ideas.

His first was a race to the end of the road, which I won handily, even with a little kid acting ballast, tugging at my shirt from behind. Next it was a Q & A session in pantomime with the GPS a very big hit. Holding it at a quick run, they watched the little guy on the screen run, making his digital path to match their real one. While I use it to make sure I really run the distance I need to train, they were happy to use it to draw shapes on the screen.

Shapes that were instantly forgotten when I whipped out the digital camera. Its images, instantly recognized, captivated the entire scrum of kids. Only a second race could get them to disengage. Back to the end of the road we ran, again, with my speed easily surpassing theirs. Still, the sprit did engage them, for when I finally left a few started to race.

Soon, I bet, we shall see new leaders in field an track, leaders from Ngor, banded together in a Senegalese sprinting society, started by yours truly one late afternoon in February, 2005.

4 Comments on “Senegalese Sprinting Society

  1. So funny — finding group of girls to be my friends is always one of my favorite ways to get included in a foreign culture. But I never get approached by a group of young boys . . . it never really ocurred to me that boys would have the exact same patterns — the hand holder, the leader — as girls.

  2. Also, for goodness sake, oh competitive one — leave it to you to have to prove that you are a faster runner than the 10 year olds. 🙂

  3. I just envy your mum who brough you to this wonderful earth.And then,just praise the combination that my God[not your god-sun]used when He brough both your parents together to have you.Indeed a bright woman + an intelligent man can’t miss a fantastic chap.And you are, Wayan.A challenge to many.
    Now just start the page,read through and see the photos.Though you are ’29’,but at that moment,you’re actually 7,8,9,or whatever age those guys are.You just do it willingly and thats why they find themselves responding honestly.Wayan,many people who go there go for just rubbish.I salute you Wayan,its your expensive talent,which is too expensive to be purchased by the majority,that puts a normal,natural,cool smile on the faces of those young ones.
    It is also a big challenge to everyone that those young ones didn’t care whether purple,pale,green,or what.
    But all in all,they were captivated by your natural smile Vota.You’ve got it.That courage man!I pray hard to see your future dear.You don’t need to worry,you’ve already prepared everything yourself,so the future is just as bright as the smiles on those faces of the innocent young ones.
    Then come the ‘longitude’one.You’ve just got it.No need to say much because you know what is my mind.And I love the way you get exactly what I think and add on.
    All in all,You are a challenge to many.And whenever you happen to differ with some people,please always remember that you are not a joke.They might be trying to beat about the bush to see whether you’d…..But just relax.It is the combination that is in you that makes you superb.Cheers Wayan,keep the ball rolling.

  4. But do you see the way you mingle with different people and they find themselves rebelling against the barriers.
    Just check the jig every one had.Different!And that’s how they felt.The yellow boxer,the runner,etc,etc.And the concetration of the ‘longitude’navyblue Tshirt[Navy blue indeed!]Everyone was caught enjoying in his own way.It puts a big smile on my face.You just mix them up.I don’t think they will ever forget you as you did to the ‘internet cafe’!Hm.such is how life is.First and last!Hope not.