Close your eyes and consider a surfer. More likely than now not, the image conjured is one among an impossibly tanned, shaggy towheaded parent emerging from the sea in bodycon neoprene. “There’s regularly an association between surf tradition and blond Australian or Californian beach bums,” says Yodit Eklund, founding the father of Senegal-based totally Bantu Wax, a lifestyle surf brand with a mission to trade the stereotypical photo surrounding surfers. “In Dakar, I surf with youngsters who found out to surf before they could swim; in Morocco, there are men who’re excellent non secular, but they get out of their djellaba and right into a wetsuit and are best sufficient to let me take their waves. There are many beach babes from many ones of kind tribes.”
Growing up in Ghana, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and California, Yodit is a surfer and swimmer herself and has clocked infinite hours on the seashore. “I go to the seashore at least 5 times per week in Dakar,” she says of her present-day home base. “But I’m not the form of a female who loves to simply lie on the seashore—I need to be active.” But however brave she may be paddling into the waves of the Almadies Peninsula in Senegal or Anchor Point in Morocco, she admits she takes a softer method to skincare. “Salt may be harsh and drying for my skin and hair,” she says, recalling times she became unprotected inside the water, leaving her thick curly hair dehydrated and brittle. Here, Eklund walks us via her summertime necessities that beat the heat, sun, and sea for surfers—from all around the globe, with an array of skin kinds and hair textures—and non-surfers alike. After all, she says, “At Bantu Wax, we want each person to experience as they belong.”
Get beneficial with your sunscreen.
“Women in Africa underestimate the need of sporting sunblock. Everyone desires to shield their pores and skin; Bob Marley died of cancer in the end. I like to apply this awesome sunblock I purchase from a spa in Ethiopia known as Tilla.”
Turn to braids for added conditioning.
“I could describe my hair as “Scary Spice”—thick and curly. I want to braid my hair into two or three braids after I’m inside and out of the water. It avoids the annoyance of hair getting in my face, and you can keep oil or conditioner in it all through the day, so it doesn’t get damaged. I truly love Shu Uemura’s hair merchandise, in particular, the Black Cumin, and I additionally like to shop for argan oil on the force from Marrakech to our shop in Taghazout, Morocco from the different women’s cooperatives.”
Always pay attention to your skin.
“I love using a ramification of various oils earlier than and after solar exposure on both my hair and face. I attempt to take note of what my skin appears like and what it wishes. I surely just like the consistency of this baobab oil that I buy in Dakar because it’s thick and hydrating but on no account greasy. I purchase it here in Senegal due to the fact you may locate it pretty lots anywhere, and it’s now not too high-priced. My pores and skin continually experience exceptional smoothness and nourishment once I use them. For [after-sun recovery], my buddies make Obal oil, a combination of argan, bitter cherry, sweet almond oils, and some different vital oils. It’s extremely good for the face, especially after an extended day at the beach, so I like to apply it within the evenings.”
Hydrate from the inside out.
“What I drink and devour is such a large a part of my beauty ordinary. For an afternoon on the seaside, I drink plenty of water to maintain my pores and skin and hair hydrated, but the fruit is likewise terrific for this too. I, in reality, love watermelon! And if I show up to forget about to bring fruit with me to the beach, there’s almost continually someone promoting mangos, berries, or a few kinds of clean juice for me to seize.”
Forget makeup, double up on fragrance.
“I want to keep it quiet low-key in relation to makeup, so my pores and skincare recurring clearly are my beauty habitual. But if I do wear make-up to the seashore, it’s typically eyeliner. Chanel’s Le Crayon Kôhl in noir remains put quite tons all day. And it does smudge; it nonetheless seems exquisite and creates a smoky appearance. And I want to put on perfume once I’m at the seashore, noticeably! Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady is my preferred. I’ve always been a tomboy; however, in some way, this makes me feel like a female whenever I put on it. I spray a bit in the morning, and I swear it lasts all day!”
Arm yourself with self-assurance.
“Being on the seaside and chasing waves, you’ve were given to be confident. Confidence [to me] is feeling healthy and glad. I even have a trainer in Dakar who I do circuit education at the seaside with a couple of instances per week. Dakar has a real exercise way of life. By 6:00 p.M., the whole city is out at the Corniche or of their neighborhoods playing sports activities or running out. It’s actually great due to the fact you’ll see human beings of all shapes, sizes, a while, and socioeconomic backgrounds working outside through the facet.”
It appears that each of the few instances I even have needed to supply or pick up travelers to the Greater Binghamton Airport, Google Maps, my trusted GPS app, offers me distinctive guidelines.
There are the familiar two-lane byways of our rural area at every quiet of the journey, however in among are reputedly limitless “I in no way knew this existed” back roads, making a simple journey to the airport a brand new travel adventure.
Last week’s ride became no one of a kind, as I headed out to meet Silvia and Olivia, two Rotary Youth Exchange students arriving from an overnight go-use flight from Seattle. These adventurous young women are each spending 12 months of their high school revel in primary Washington kingdom from their respective countries of Taiwan and Australia.
They traveled east to enroll on a 30-day bus journey across America, which started to evolve for them in Binghamton. One of the tremendous joys of working with Rotary Youth Exchange is assembly younger humans from all over the international. This opportunity to host two younger women in my domestic for some days on both aspects of their journey became too properly to bypass up.
Leaving the airport supplied the first of many opportunities to learn about countries I can also by no means see, and to look the surprise of our corner of the world from the eyes of a newcomer.
We weren’t within the automobile five mins while the women uttered, “It’s so inexperienced here,” a familiar remark from travelers from the West Coast. Visitors are faced with the splendor of inexperience that we get to revel in for greater than 1/2 of the yr. We often take for granted the opportunity to experience four seasons.
Another possibility to peer our world anew got here with the question, “Do you’ve got numerous barns here?” as we surpassed a nicely-saved specimen. There need to had been dozens of barns at the 30-plus-mile direction. However, I hadn’t visible even one. Now with the marvel of sparkling eyes, there have been bars in each state of care and disrepair, some beautifully appointed and energetic, others tired and worn. Some for storage, a few for housing animals and machines, some simply falling down. Each had a brand new story to share if we had eyes to look at.