Friday, September 12, 2014

To those who have made my life in Senegal richer

Emily Sambou with my children
I have just left Dakar, Senegal to move back to the United States.  The last two years in Senegal were very rich years and I wanted to publicly thank many of the local people who made a real impact on my life.  So let's pretend you have a glass of your favorite beverage and raise our virtual glasses to a few of the people. 
The first, is Emily Sambou, our housekeeper, who was sweet, conscientious and reliable.  Throughout our two years she made my life easier so I could make my art, organize events and be with my children.  I deeply appreciated her work.  As of today she is still looking for work, let me, contact me if you are interested hiring her.  So, here's a toast to her!

Bouboucar with my daughter and Tinkerbell
Next is Boubacar Seck, one of our gaurds who was consistently friendly while also professional. He helped me add a little Woolof to my vocabulary.  He and my daughter really hit it off too.   I raise my glass to you Boubacar.
And let's raise the glass again to Anne Marie, my tailor.  She studied and interned in fashion design in France.  She is incredibly talented and her skills made some smashing clothing.  Anne Marie herself is a joy to work with.  Pictured are a couple of the items she has made with my fabric designs.  A soft jacket made with my Roosters of New York fabric in Performance Knit and a party dress in Cotton Silk with two designs; Ghana Butterflies on Steel Blue on the top and Ghana Fantastic Floral Yellows on Steel Blue for the skirt. I will be sharing a couple of the African wax items she created in the future. 
Anne Marie would love to come to the US on a working vacation.  The idea is she trades tailoring for you for a plane ticket and a spare bedroom.  She designs and sews for you and your friends a few days and she tours and see the sites a few days.  Anne Marie speaks perfect English.  Contact her on Facebook if you are interested.  I am happy to recommend her. Thanks so much Anne Marie, I raise a glass to you.
A jacket made with my Roosters of New York design
party dress in cotton silk from my Ghana Floral Collection 
Next is my husband's tailor, Seydou Diallo.  Fabric is generally less expensive in Senegal and the tailors so good that one would be crazy not to get a couple of things made.  Seydou was also trained in France to tailor men's suits.  Here is my husband Joe proudly showing off his work.  And here's a glass to him.

I will miss all of the wonderful musicians I was honored to work with and get to know while organizing monthly house concerts with Dakar Music Appreciation Group but I will miss none more than Cheikha.  He is so personable and a terrific musician.  He stopped by on our last night to drop by a CD of his music.  Check him out.  He can play traditional and popular music.  He is very versatile and a pleasure to work with.  Here's a glass to Cheikha.

And lastly I raise a glass to all of the artists I have met, too many to mention, but a few have been profiled on this blog in the last few months.  It was an honor to be in Senegal during the Biennale.  I am thankful to have been able to work with you and wish you much success. 

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