Blogs from Dakar, Cape Verde Peninsula, Senegal, Africa

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Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar February 3rd 2013

From the serenity of St Louis, the old capital, to the noise and madness of Dakar, the new capital. A day's drive that takes us from the dust of horse drawn carts to the diesel fumes of 18 wheel lorries. Our guest house is in Dakar's northern outskirts, on the Atlantic coast. From the roof terrace we can see the waves crashing onto yet another long beach. It is a busy beach used by youngsters, playing football; horses pulling carts, who use the beach as a road; and us and a few locals, walking. And there are herds of goats, some untethered horses and numerous scavenging kites and vultures. Dakar is a noisy, polluted African city with some interesting markets and an impressive art deco cathedral. On the edge of the city is the most westerly ... read more
Dakar beach
Door of no return
Isle de Goree

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar May 18th 2012

I was in Dakar for 10 days in March 2011 on a business trip. I did not have so much timeto see around but the office that i worked was in the centre of the capital city of Senegal. The weather was very fine, warm enough for us to wear sleeveless shirts. Dakar is an international city full of tourists around the world. But i guess the most difficult thing in the city is find an open restaurant during the working hours as people there prefer to rest till the evening because of the hot weather. we stayed in a hotel which was very near to the sea.We had the chance to walk by the see for 2 evenings. One night we went to a cafe just nearby the see where we had hot herbal tea ... read more
Dakar in the evening
beach in Dakar
The famous fishing boats

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar May 7th 2012

Wednesday Day 39 My alarm went off at 06:14 so I could squeeze in a shower before breakfast at 7 but I really didn't want to get up. I'd planned on having one the night before but my towel was on the truck and Toni was sleeping up there. I did not want to incur the wrath of Toni (who's lovely and probably wouldn't mind but still). Some people had been having cold showers but mine was hot and with the early morning air still cool, I actually felt refreshed! I unplugged all my electronics and packed them along with my sleeping bag and toiletries and dragged my bag out to the truck before breakfast, putting the stuff I wanted for the day under my seat. We were on wash-up after everyone had finished eating and ... read more
First glimpses of Senegal
Rush hour
Unloading the day's catch

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar February 27th 2012

While it is with moderate lightness in Senegal that i can throw around salaam aleikums, and with tempered righteousness that I can accept being banned from the inside of most mosques - it is with absolute sincerity that I nodded in accordance with the wish of many of my friends upon leaving: Please. Pray for Senegal. And every non-believer cell of me is… As like never before in Senegal, there is "political unrest" over what most consider to be the illegal candidacy of the current president (Wade) for the next presidential office term. As it is Wade himself who had made an amendment to the constitution capping a president's reign two terms - yet he now is running for a third. Will the people hold their president to his own decision and to their own constitution? ... read more
new politics
stand up for your rights
sculpture in all its glory

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar September 26th 2011

Przebrnelismy przez Mali w miare sprawnie chociaz na kazdego stopa czekalismy ok.6-8 godzin.Jednak dotarlismy radosnie do Senegalu. A bylo to tak: (wg zeznan M.) Z reguly przygladalismy sie burzom z daleka,sa imponujace chociaz niebo takie jak u nas, to pioruny tancza po niebie kilka sekund robiac wspaniale spektakle. W Bamako zmoklismy pierwszy raz na tym wyjezdzie a przeciez to pora deszczowa. Bamako chaotyczne rozlegle plaskie miasto z gorujacym nad nim Bankiem Centralnym wyglodajacym jak skarbiec Sknerusa. Suszymy sie i uciekamy na wylotowke w strone Dakaru.Placimy taksowkarzowi by nas wywiozl na wylotowke w strone Dakaru,wysiadamy i dowiadujemy sie ze wywiozl nas w przeciwnym kierunku,fajnie za pol godziny robi sie ciemno a my musimy znow przez cale miasto sie przeprawic. No ale teraz chociaz dobrze juz sobie radzimy w poruszaniu sie po Bamako transportem publicznym. P... read more
3osoby na dachu i baran ktory zaczepial Mara;)
Takie fajne maja domki w Senegalu
Dakar juz niedaleko

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Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar September 7th 2011

So folks, i am within hours away of going back to, or rather once again, returning, to Senegal, and thought i should at least give you the last few fotos. Minus any commentary. in september, i found myself, finally settling, after years, into which family, circle, language, social position(s) i feel comfortable with. let's see if that all goes to camel poo and see what happens this time 'round... ...los geht's! more pictures below...... read more
settling into tiny hands and large gaps of time
settling into dairy products
settling into chance friendships

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar August 25th 2011

overall, this Sojourn was gastrologically like no other Senegalese trip of mine. how much of that is due to the development of Senegal and the development of me...remains cloudy. ...unlike years ago, I finally have a strong enough body now to sit, for hours, in crappy lawn chairs. doing nothing. moving barely an inch, except maybe to bend down and pick up my Coke. yes, Coke. i did more as the locals do this time 'round, too. also unlike years, ago, my courage in vocalizing my vegetarianism brought all sorts of surprises, and salads my way. i now announce myself within moments of meeting folks. i confess my strange, toubab lifestyle...making no lame excuses of belly aches or allergies or religious premises. this meant, instead of ducking out of meal times or feigning illness...i began conversations, ... read more
leftovers to the rescue!
ni hao no how
found a peanut, found a peanut

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar August 19th 2011

Shocks: Here is a short glimpse into my very polarized presentation of "good" and "bad" development. Let it be known, my jaw was generally on the floor the first five days, and exasperations were often followed quickly by my barraging of locals, friends, hotelers, etc. into how certain developments happened and how they feel about them. even if it's not so polite to ask questions in Senegal...this toubab was the pesky interlocutor this time 'round. Favorite development stories: "good" 1) sidewalks! hoorah! a simple walk to the local patisserie used to mean several minutes of areligious hail Mary's while dodging swerving taxis, loose-cannon scooters, clacking metal heaps of bus, occasional kids and dogs underfoot, and hopping of rainy season mudholes. now, one plods along a cement sidewalk, complete with pedestrian dips for ease of crossing. almost ... read more
BAD shopping mall
GOOD fairtrade
ZERO power still gets cut

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar August 17th 2011

a few years ago, i decided that Tom's of Maine toothpaste was not up to my hippie standards. in that moment, i snickered, realizing just how much of a hippie i must be - who am i to criticize Tom's? about 5 hours into my Senegalese Sojourn, i had a similar moment, when i decided that a middle-class home in a newly developed area of Dakar was just too developed for my african standards. in that moment, i panicked, realizing just how much of an hippie i must be - who am i to criticize a middle-class african family otherwise? being put up generously by a good friend's family, i was staying in a house where the large, flat-screen television dominated the house in routine and decibels, and even in the children's imaginative play... ...i craved ... read more

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar April 25th 2011

Monday April 25th, 2011 Dakar, Senegal Latitude 14 degrees 40 minutes’ north- Longitude 17 degrees 25 minutes' west Situated on the westernmost point of Africa, Dakar is a port with a strategic location. First settled by the Portuguese in the 1400s, it was the capital of French West Africa until granted freedom by France in the 1950s. Since then the economy has struggled, but this is the first place in West Africa that I have seen heavy construction equipment lined up on the dock. There is either a construction project going on somewhere or Caterpillar has a factory here. You can tell we are on the edge of the Sahara Desert; everything that has been sitting at the dock for awhile is covered with a layer of dust. The staff onboard covered all the walkways coming ... read more
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