At the transport hub: Tambacounda

Ok, we all know I’m a bit.. different. But this just reaffirmed that for me.

Tamba is a place no one writes about. In the guidebook, it’s “all about dust, sizzling temperatures, and lines of traffic heading in all directions.” And yes, it is those things (at least 40 degrees yesterday!). On the forums, it’s simply a stop on the way to other places. And yes, it’s that, too. It’s why I’m here. But, I love it.

It’s just a town. A gritty, dirty, hardworking town. It’s like, industrial, on a small scale: rows upon rows of shops for mechanics, blacksmiths, and for guys carving wooden headboards by hand. Restaurants are shacks tucked in between, or at wooden tables on the road. But it’s very refreshing, and has restored my faith in what I’m doing here.

No one tries to sell me anything. Nobody here is making western clothing and jewelry, trying to pawn it off as authentically African. So I love it. I just walk here: I look and I listen and I chat with people who just want to chat. And I find a community based on respect, generosity, kindness, and… fun!

This is what I came for.


the train line still functions here! It goes to Mali. But not for passengers, apparently.

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