Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wade allowed to run for 3rd term

We've been at home for the last 2 days as we awaited the verdict regarding the Constitution. Laird and Dylan certainly let us know they had a bad case of cabin fever, and out of desperation we went for a quick walk around the neighborhood today. All is calm and quiet right now, however there are warnings of riots and future demonstrations.

Below is the link for a story Richard wrote for Reuters.
Senegal opposition urges more 'resistance' after riots
12:31pm EST

By Diadie Ba

DAKAR (Reuters) - Senegal's opposition said on Saturday it would make the country "ungovernable" if President Abdoulaye Wade insisted on running for a third term in elections next month, raising the spectre of renewed riots in West Africa's most peaceful nation.

One policeman was killed during protests late on Friday, in which demonstrators threw rocks, overturned cars and burned tyres and security forces fired tear gas, after the country's top court said Wade had the right to seek a new term.

Calm returned to the capital Dakar by Saturday but security was boosted around the presidential palace, where truckloads of police in full riot gear were deployed, armed with tear gas grenade launchers and truncheons.

"Abdoulaye Wade has declared war on the people," Amath Dansakho, the head of the PIT party and member of the M23 opposition activist group, told reporters following a meeting with other political and civil society leaders.

"The decision that we have just made will prove to Wade that this is a country of free people. We will render the country ungovernable," he said.

Friday's clashes came after Senegal's top legal body validated the candidacy of 85-year-old Wade and 13 rivals for the February 26 vote, but turned down the presidential bid of world music star Youssou N'Dour, saying he did not have the required 10,000 signatures of support.

Wade's rivals say the constitution sets an upper limit of two terms on the president. But Wade, who came to power in 2000 and was re-elected in 2007, has argued his first term pre-dated the 2001 amendment establishing the limit.

M23 said in a press release on Saturday the court's decision was a "constitutional coup, and a prelude to what will be an electoral coup" and called on Senegalese across the country to resist Wade's re-election bid.


Senegal's interior ministry said on Saturday that a policeman was killed during Friday's clashes, which began after protesters that had gathered in a public square attempted to march towards the presidential palace.

The policeman "was gravely injured in the head by a brick that had been thrown, and he succumbed shortly afterward," the ministry said in a press release, adding security forces remained committed to preserving the peace.

A leading human rights activist and vocal critic of Wade, Alioune Tine, told Reuters by text message on Saturday afternoon that he had been arrested by Senegal's criminal investigation unit, but he could not give further details.

Wade had appeared on state television late on Friday appealing for calm and promising free and fair polls.

Senegal is the only country in mainland West Africa to have not had a coup since the end of the colonial era. February's poll, and a possible run-off a few weeks later, are seen as a test of social cohesion in the predominantly Muslim country.

Critics say that Wade, who spent 26 years in opposition to Socialist rule, has done nothing during his 12 years in power to alleviate poverty in a country where formal employment is scarce, and has dragged his heels on tackling official graft.

Wade points to spending on education and infrastructure projects such as roadbuilding as proof of progress towards turning Senegal into an emerging market country and a trade hub.

His candidacy has raised eyebrows abroad. The senior U.S. State Department official for Africa, William Fitzgerald, told French RFI radio that Wade's candidacy was "a bit regrettable."

Rival presidential hopeful Amsatou Sow Sidibe called on Wade to withdraw his candidacy voluntarily. "Peace and tranquility in Senegal depends on it," she told Reuters by telephone.

Reuters reporters late on Friday saw youths set fire to tyres and overturn cars in Dakar. Protests were also reported in the towns of Thies, Mbour, and Kaolack, where state radio said the local headquarters of Wade's liberal PDS were burned down.

(Writing and additional reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

© Thomson Reuters 2011. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Thomson Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters and its logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Thomson Reuters group of companies around the world.

Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to colleagues, clients or customers, use the Reprints tool at the top of any article or visit:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Dear Laird and Dylan,

On this day, two years ago, you were born.

I laid flat for 90 days in a hospital room, anticipating, praying, talking to, and loving you everyday. We fought an incredible battle together, and WON.

Your Dad flew 3 round trip flights from Africa, anticipating your arrival. And despite the physical distance during those 90 days, your Dad called everyday and spoke to you...while mom held the phone to her tummy.

You were born quite early, but were strong and brave.

Since the day you were born, life has never been the same for us. We love you more than anything in this world. You have taught us so much in such a short amount of time; our hearts are so full of love that I often wonder if it may burst at times. Everyday, we laugh until tears come, or cry because we are so happy with you...

At two years old, you both love to sing and dance. You love going for long walks and exploring the outside world. You love to ride you trikes. You both speak French and English, and are starting to say French words to Dad, and English words to Mom. You are *mostly* potty trained. Your favorite place to be is the beach. Your best friends are each other, and you still fall asleep every night talking to one another, while sucking on your beloved blue dogs. Your favorite book is 'Forever Young' by Bob Dylan as you love to sing along with the lyrics and point out all of the pictures you recognize in 2 languages. Your favorite foods are anything that is a fruit, curries, and spaghetti and meatballs. Your favorite words are 'back-hoe', 'big big truck', 'bateau', 'mouton', and 'NOOOO'!

Laird and Dylan, you are my two beautiful, strong, courageous, hilarious, and loving sons. You are our miracles.

Happy 2nd Birthday my dear angels.

Mom and Dad

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years Eve 2012 Dinner

(photo by: Matthew Hranek)

After a birthday party at the Zimbabwe Ambassador's house, we enjoyed the rest of the New Years evening with our sugar filled, happy twins. Luckily, despite the sugar intake between the two, they fell fast asleep at bedtime.

Rich and I set to work and prepared a DELICIOUS dinner for two at home. Yes, we splurged for salmon here in Dakar; 2 small steaks cost $18. However, it was worth every penny.
We roasted tomatoes for 2 1/2 hours...which was worth the wait. Just enough time to enjoy a glass of champagne, or two.

Follow the recipe EXACTLY.
Recipe is below or here.
Thank you Epicurious.

Wild Salmon with Pearl Couscous,

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Lemon Oregano Oil

We prefer wild salmon not only for ecological reasons but for its flavor, which is more mild than that of farm raised. Although limited varieties are available year-round, peak season begins in the spring, when the fish are caught en route to their spawning rivers.

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active Time: 40 min
Total Time: 3 1/4 hr (includes roasting tomatoes)
For tomatoes and lemon oregano oil
6 plum tomatoes (1 lb), halved lengthwise
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 fresh basil leaves
12 whole fresh oregano leaves plus 3 tablespoons finely chopped

2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler and finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For couscous
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous (12 oz)
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt

For salmon
6 (6-oz) pieces wild salmon fillet with skin (preferably center cut)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives (3 oz), pitted and quartered lengthwise
Roast tomatoes and prepare oil:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F.

Toss tomatoes with sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and arrange, cut sides down, in a small shallow baking pan. Heat oil in a 9- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in basil and whole oregano leaves, then pour oil over tomatoes. Roast tomatoes until very tender but not falling apart, 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer tomatoes with a spatula to a large plate, then pour oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl or measuring cup, discarding solids. Stir in chopped oregano, zest, juice, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Cook couscous:

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then toast couscous, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and pale golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth, water, and salt and simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes, then stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon oregano oil. Season with salt.

Roast salmon while couscous stands:

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°F. Line a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan with foil.

Arrange salmon, skin sides down, in baking pan, then drizzle with olive oil, rubbing it over tops of fillets, and sprinkle with salt. Roast salmon until just cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes.

Divide couscous among 6 plates. Lift salmon flesh from skin with a slotted spatula and transfer a fillet to each bed of couscous. Put 2 tomato halves on each plate, then sprinkle salmon with olives and drizzle with some lemon oregano oil.

Cooks' note:
Tomatoes can be roasted 3 days ahead and chilled in oil in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.