Senegal Journal

The following articles were submitted by students who travelled to Senegal in the summer of 2008.  Browse all of the articles by choosing a country from the left hand navigation or see all of the articles from one student by clicking his or her name (in blue) at the top of the article. 



4th of July

Senegal - 04 Julliet

Happy 4th of July! Yeah, it was pretty non-existent here, as you would expect.  I didn't really do much anyway.  I tried to find the Wimbledon double semi-finals and the Federer and Nadal semis. I ended up staying home and doing too much work, I worked up to two o'clock non-stop, and missed the Federer match.  The Nadal match was starting just as Ryan and I left the apartment for lunch at the Baobab Center.  Lunch was good today though expensive because she used four different kinds of meat. 

I went with Ryan to the university student's house. I interviewed Hamady while Ryan did another. They're nice guys and I got a lot of information, not just on my research questions, but also on culture, especially Peul or Fulani culture. Ryan left around 4:30p to go with Vicky to the 4th of July celebration at the American Embassy, I stayed to finish my questions. I'm going back to finish up and have a plan as I was kind of shooting from the hip today. I walked home, Ryan left the house key with Ibou, and stopped by Pridoux to see if Khadim was there. He was and I set him up with an interview on Monday also, after he gets off of work. So yay! Things are moving along pretty well. I got home and just chilled out having the house to myself, it was great. We might go to the fabric market tomorrow. It depends if Saida is up to it, we're supposed to call her around 9:30a so we can leave at 10a. I do hope we can go tomorrow. Sunday we're going to the beach.


Lac Rose


Our plan for today was traveling north and east to go first to a world renowned church service, and then to a place called lac rose (where the lake looks pink in the sun!). We woke up early today (8:30) and took a taxi from the ACI center way north and east. There were 7 of us total: our adviser, Mike, Scott, Ryan, and two guys named Philip and Marshall, who I mentioned yesterday.
On the ride over, we passed through many towns including Rufisque, a rather big marketing town with many vendors. I really liked the drive up, and some of the pictures show the landscape that I saw on the way. What struck me most was how desolate the country side is, the pictures show that there's hardly any vegetation, just a few crazy looking trees and absolutely no grass. It looks like it's just about ready to turn into a desert...which it pretty much is I suppose!

We arrived at the church, and it was magnificent. In the middle of all the bareness it was green and lusch (relatively at least) and had great architecture. We walked in only a few minutes before the service, and found some of the last seats in the place. Inside the church was intricately painted, and there were just a few monks getting ready for the service. Once it started, the whole thing was in French and it was all in song. There were probably 20 monks or so that walked in including the main two monks that lead the service. I would guess that there were probably more monks than people in the seats around us. It lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, and had amazing singing and playing of the kora. The kora is an ancestor of both the guitar and harp, as it is all plucked. Once the service was done, we went and walked around the gorgeous courtyard area and some people bought a few things.

After that we hopped back in our hired cabs and went to the lac rose. After about half an hour, we arrived at one end of the lake and walked out only to find these humongous piles of rock salt. Apparently, lac rose is one of the major places where salt is imported throughout Africa and Europe, and has been for over 100 years (that's how much salt there is!). 10x saltier than the ocean, it has worn away at the rocks underneath to give a pinkish tint to the lake when the sun is up high. The pictures show it well, and it was pretty amazing to see. We then went into the tourist town built around the lake and had lunch, and then we went and floated in the water. I have never felt such a strong force upward, laying down I could lift my head, feet, and arms out of the water and still be right at the surface. It was really incredible, and all that salt made the water pressure that low. There are some pictures with a testament to that. When I got out, the water was so salty that it felt like slime all over my body. Overall I am really enjoying my stay in Senegal, and looking forward to really enjoying my research from what I’ve done so far.