I don't know how you feel about this..
Alot of people don't believe. That is your choice. But heed the warning anyway. Especially if you are of light complexion, or have light hair or eyes. People will try to take some of your hair. Voodoo. And if you see a lost little kitten...even if it breaks your heart..leave it. It has had a spell put on it. When you travel to another's country...do not take their culture lightly. Especially if you just choose not to understand.
The green oasis right in the heart of the business area of Dakar is the Independance Square. Lined with banks, offices and embassies this square commemorates the independance of the country from France in 1956. A large moument in the centre of the square remembers the event.
"A view from my hotel"
In April 2000, I participated in UNESCO's "Education for All" conference, which adopted "A world Declaration on Education for All (with a specific tagrget and action plan). It was attended by 115 countries and representatives of 160 governenatl and non-governmental agencies and UN agencies (UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, ILO, World Bank to quote a few). It was the largest and the most important conference I ever attended in my whole career.
Sorry these are scanned photos. I did not have a DC at that time.
"A view from my hotel"
After the conference, I stayed in Dakar three more days to work on various papers of the Conference and had a little time to swim and relax at my hotel. It was a totally relaxed moment and sleeping at the pool-side cured my fatigue and stress of the conference a little bit (I needed a longer holiday). It was peaceful and restful to see the natural landscape of the sea-coast and the shining sea.
This is the garden of Dakar Meredien Hotel where the conference was held.
After having seen rather poor and simple life of people in the downtown, I felt a little guilty about staying in such a luxury hotel.
But I also felt that staying in a luxurious hotel cannot give happiness for some people who prefer to sleep on a beach being comforted by a gentle touch of breeze and surrounded by the beautiful stars all over the night sky.
My first stamp in the Passport
"First International Trip"
It was my first flight that would take more than 6 hours. I was going to West Africa! I had studied West Africa in college, but now I was actually going! My mom was worried sick.
I got off the plane around 5:30am. The air smells different over there. Oh yeah, Dave Mathews was on my plane!!!!! We went to Goree, walked around the market and finally boarded the plane to come back home around 2am.
The market was crazy and seemed never ending but there was definitely some neat items. I would recommend learning French before going to the market.
Goree was beautiful and definitely my favorite.
"What I Learned"
Make sure to bring some Vicks vapor rub for under my nose. The market was disgusting. The humidity, smell and heat solidified my stomach to mush and caused some upchuck.
Bring some food if you're a picky eater like myself.
Enjoy the ocean, go swimming, that's what it's there for, not to mention how clear and beautiful the water is.
Sleep on the plane. There's more than enough room and will help pull you through 21 hours in Africa.
Dakar is the first city that I flew to with the air line that I worked for. Coming from Iceland it was like stepping into something unreal. I have never been anywhere where my race is the minority. It was a good experience. I went shopping in the town but I have to say that it was very tyering especially because they are used to barganing about everything and me coming from Iceland found it very irritating at first since it´s not our way of dooing buissness in Iceland. They have a guided tour to a slave Island and there you can make good deals with the locals, a friend of mine sold the jeans she was wearing for authentic african dress. It was very nice there. I stayed at Novotel right down town, there was a swimming pool and a very short distance to a good mexican restaurant and down town. I would love to go back again.