boat trip and beating drums
You can take a local boat trip across the bay..which is a must for the gutsy. Especially if you cannot swim! lol I truly miss the sound of the voodoo drums at night. They go almost all night and lull you into a trance-like sleep. And awakening by the minaret in the morning call to prayer. Church services are nice..although the benches need some padding. You will need a fan, and unless you speak French..a translator. A specific fried fish that is served with rice at a restaurant in Fann Hock. Chez Adama. Kitty corner from a market and next to a seamstress. She is a good seemstress by the way. And the young man named Omar at the market is a sweetie. See above
Unfortunately, all my photos have been lost. But I would not have traded the experience for the world. We as Americans are spoiled. Americans do not appreciate what they have. I still believe each woman in Africa deserves a good washing machine! God bless them. They have a hard life. But the life in Africa has meaning. I that is what will stay in my heart. I pray one day to be able to return.
Enjoy the Local Color
Dakar in the dry season has very bland coloring. I think that is why the people choose to garb themselves in brighly colored garments. There is a never ending parade of beautiful garments on display as you travel along the street.
West Africa capital...
"A city of contrasts"
Dakar is a vibrant african city with wonderful coasts, noisy traffic, colourful markets and quiet corners here and there...
Coming from Mali, I found Dakar to be a modern busy huge city, but if you come directly from Europe, USA... you can find even a ethnical african aspect in this capital city
Out from the rush of the big city, just 15 minutes away by boat, you can enjoy the cozy colonial island of Goree, a real oasis in the bustling life of the capital. A place to walk, swim and enjoy a good fish at one of the many terrraces of the harbour.
More info at my Goree page
MANGEZ! To your heart's content...
"Meet the family"
Jacob's (whose family we were staying with) family welcomed us with open arms. At the car dealership we met Laurent and Janet, and then when we got back to the house we met the other two siblings, Angelique and Thomas. We also met their parents, otherwise known as Tante and Oncle. Like I said the house was huge. The neighbourhood felt very safe and there were always children playing outside, as well as groups of adults congregated having a natter.
"Food glorious food"
On the first night the family made Benechin with baked fish, for us (Benechin is a basically a red rice, so it's cooked in tomatoes, and spices, a bit like Jollof - for all those that know what Jollof is)
When families eat together they eat from a tray that everyone dips in to. In my short time there I only saw silver trays and they all looked roughly the same.
Whilst we were in Dakar Deborah went to a hairdresser's to get Senegalese twists done. She had about 10 twists left to do and they twister stopped dead when the silver tray came out. Stylists and customers alike stopped what they were doing to eat from the silver tray.
They say it takes a community to raise kids. They certainly live by that in Senegal. Kids from the neighbourhood were often dropping in.
One day on the way to the market, one of the guys we were staying with stopped to play jump rope with somw kids. Afterwards I took pictures of the kids (I'll put more pics in the travelogue. When I went to leave (We were going to the market) the kids shouted after me, "AU REVOIR TATA!" TATA? Huh? I didn't know what that meant, so I asked my friend if she could figure it out. She said that they were saying I had big titties. Laurent later told me that it is like saying Auntie as opposed to Aunt. So, Tante turned into Tata!
"Hospitality is everywhere"
One night we were invited to the guy (Jacob) who we went with to Dakar's uncle's house. At the Uncle's house we tried to pace ourselves with the food because we knew there would be more coming when we got back, and when you are offered food you HAVE to eat it or it's considered rude. We ate and ate and ate till we were stuffed and until the very end Laurent would shovel food to our side of the tray, exclaiming, "Mangez!" (EAT!) When all the food on the tray was finished, why did he go and bring French stick and butter for us to eat on top of what we had already eaten? Oh my! I was so stuffed.
We leave the uncle's house and then Jacob announces that we have to quickly get back and get ready because Janet is taking us to a pizza parlour. What? When I tell you those boys watched us eat til we were ready to explode, while they just picked at the food and then drop a bombshell like that. We couldnt believe it. He knew what was planned the whole time and sat back and saved himself for pizza. I asked Jacob,
"How do you think we are gonna eat any more?"
He tried to put some guilt on us,
"We have to go. We are only going for you guys, because she hasn't spent that much time with you."
So we agreed.
When we got home it was late, so it was too late to go. We were so tired, so we went to go and lie down. 15 minutes into our nap Jacob bursts through the door of Angelique's room, where we were sleeping,
"THE FOOD IS READY!"
Yes folks, we ate again Only an hour later! This time we shovelled food onto Laurent and told him to "MANGEZ!"
I must say the food was great. We ate every well while we were there. I still miss the French bread and ham in the mornings, and the cut up mango and coconut in the evenings.
Here are some pictures from our first night at CHEZ IBOU, a club in Dakar
Dakar, Senegal's capital, is located in the most western point of the African continent.
Walking through the city
The minute I came out to the streets, a crowd of street salesmen was struggling, sweating and shouting, in an almost breathless frequency, words that I couldn't understand... then came the "bonjour" and "ça va?", and the questions about what I would like to buy. Rough hands showing me tribal masks, with an useless but frequent chase, promising the most wonderful pieces ever made. An endless world of art without an artist...
Walking through the city it turns clear the shock between tradition and imported.
Long lines of Peugeot 205 and some other forgotten heroes of the french automobile industry stuck the city streets. And that turned the streets somehow interesting when the traffic was stucked...
After the first hour I realized that for how much preparation I did, I would never be prepared for such a chaos...
The buildings have an european architectonic style. After visiting the Presidential Palace, the Commerce Chamber and the railway station, I found "shelter" in the "Place de la Independance" where I found some ATM's!!!
The Presidential Palace
I was in Dakar only for one weekend and there are some things I will never forget.
When we saw this building everyone crossed the road to take some pics... however suddendly an armed guard came over and, while moving his machine gun, told us it was forbbiden to take pictures to the palace... right...
But the strongest memory, in fact, was something that happened a couple of hours before leaving the country. It started to rain during the night. So much that around 8 AM the street in front of the French Naval Base had so much water, roughly around 1 meter high. The rain didn't stop and it seemed like the sky was falling down. But the driver (Mamadou N'Diae) managed to drive our rented Jeep out of the blocked roads
This was my first time in a muslim country and of course I got surprised when I heard, in the afternoon, the speakers of the mosque in arab and then the city completely stopped... the first time was really awkward to me...
We've rent a jeep at Hertz, but due to the problems with insurance companies they also gave us a driver. Poor guy...
Anyway he loved us because everytime we went to the ship we gave him a basket filled of fruit or some food... I even gave him a pair of shoes. In the last day we gave him the money that we didn't use which in total was, converting to euros, around 80€. After all was the double of his salary. But in the end it touched me when he started to cry when we left...