Khady pulled out a breast and fired milk at the chameleon.
“If I don’t offer it milk, our son will grow up to look like a lizard.”
Clearly I had a lot to learn about life in Africa.
Simon Fenton leaves Britain in search of adventure and finds Senegal,
love, fatherhood, marabou’s – and a piece of land that could make a
perfect guest house, if only he knew how to build one.
The book is also for sale from myself in Abene, in Dakar and in Banjul.
Dakar: Chez Alpha Books, Ouakam Cornich villa no.88, Dakar. Click for map.
Banjul: Timbooktoo Bookstore, Fajara. Click for map.
simon – April 26, 2016
Squirting Milk at Chameleons is more than A Year in Provence goes to Africa. Author Simon Fenton details both his fall and rise, his growing disillusionment with his home country and two failed marriages, and how his need to escape led, through sheer serendipity, to a new life, and a new family, in Abene, Senegal. But just as he refuses to wallow in the bad times, he’s not blind to the corruption, the poverty and all the other festering sores on the skin of this great continent as he narrates the good times. Fenton writes simple, direct prose, aware perhaps that this is the best way to present a continent which lives in the same way, and he’s particularly good at picking out the seemingly mundane from the thrall of the exotic, finding joy in mangos, observing how a self-proclaimed witch doctor turns tail in the presence of his mother-in-law, and exposing the faultlines along which his two cultures clash.
Squirting Milk at Chameleons isn’t merely the story of one man’s journey from mortgage slave to accidental african. It’s the story of Africa, in all its filth and its glory. It won’t necessarily make you yearn to visit, but it will make you damn glad you can.
simon – August 19, 2016
“This book comes the closest that I’ve read to an outsider understanding our culture.”
Kemo Conteh, Development and governance consultant, Banjul, The Gambia
“Simon shares his journey with us, he shares his courage, vulnerability, and his faith. His story is an example of what life is really about. This book is a great and easy read and is a must for anyone wanting to understand the mystical side of Africa through a Westerner’s eyes. Highly recommended!”
Doug Manuel – Creator of ‘Do You Speak Djembe?’
“Simon’s observations on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in West Africa are so true to how things work in this little visited part of the world. His charming and often funny stories always remind me of first moving to Africa and his positive take on all that Senegal can throw at him is a joy to read. I am sure his beautifully crafted tales will inspire others to break away from the crowd and strive to live a life that is full of adventure.”
Lawrence Williams, founder/manager of Makasutu, the Gambia and rated best eco-lodge in the world.
From various messages received:
I have just read your book which I devoured in 2 days – it must be a bit like a complicated roast dinner for you, you spend days choosing, preparing, chopping, sorting and cooking, only for the meal to be eaten in minutes. However the reason I read it so quickly was because I couldn’t put it down. I loved it. I laughed, I cried, I was amazed, I was astounded and most of all so delighted for you that you have your little piece of paradise with your new family in Senegal.
We travelled on the same coach from Chefchaouen to Fez in February and I just wanted to say that I bought your book and consumed it within 4 days! I’m due to have a baby tomorrow but wanted to tell you it’s such a great read – I found myself laughing out loud on frequent occasions and am eagerly awaiting the sequel!
Reading your story has elicited a concoction of preciously rare emotions for me. Actually here’s something else: it has inspired me to really ask myself what I want and how I go about getting it. Making sure that I am giving that to myself.
Just finished it!! Loved it. Hope he writes some more.
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