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November 6th 2006
Published: November 6th 2006
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Baobab sur merBaobab sur merBaobab sur mer

This is one of the ancient baobabs just around the corner from where I was staying and strangely isolated on a sand bank in the middle of the tidal Saloum Delta. The baobabs are one of the few trees left of what used to be a huge area of forest between Foundiougne and Kaolak. The area has been stripped almost bare for firewood and for planting the groundnuts (Arachides)which strip the soil of nutrients. With a decrease in levels of rainfall in recent years and the high tides that flood the delta sand flats, ground water is becoming increasingly saline putting even these ancient and respected trees at risk.

Photos that slipped through

I'm sat in WAAME's office in the suburbs of Dakar, trying to agree final expenses and taking advantage of the high speed internet connection while they discuss budgets amongst themselves in true Senegalese style - I could be here some time !

I've just realised that there are many images of Foundiougne I haven't posted so thought I'd do this one last pictorial blog from Dakar. The photos show the old, new, beautiful and ugly sides of Foundiougne.

Next blog will be from Malawi but I'm really not sure how good access to the iternet will be. Bill at Njaya Lodge was talkig about setting up a high speed link but not sure how far he will have got with that in the past 8 weeks. It may mean a weekly trip up to Mzuzu to catch up on emails and blogs but, even there, the connections are very slow and expensive.

Hope you like the photos. . . . if you click on the image you should get the story behind the photo.

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Baobab 2Baobab 2
Baobab 2

The same tree with some of the last rain clouds of the season fading away towards the ocean.
Happy Waving CrabsHappy Waving Crabs
Happy Waving Crabs

These weird crabs, with one huge white claw and another tiny dark one, live in holes on the tidal mud flats. You can see them waving to each other from some way off until they see you coming and vanish back into their holes with a loud plop. This one was a bit slow.
Tidal FlatsTidal Flats
Tidal Flats

The best light comes in the hour before sunset and this view across the tidal channel, which all but isolates Foundiougne from neighbouring land, was one which caught my eyes several evenings before I returned with my camera.

This giant (about 30cm tall) popped up next to my hut and lasted for three days, probably fed by the smelly overflowing pit 2 metres away. I like to think I helped create this monster !
Hot in the kitchenHot in the kitchen
Hot in the kitchen

This was during my cookery lesson with Tabara on how to prepare a traditional Tchiebu Diem. She took me shopping in the markets and then I prepared the evening meal with her for the family. The kitchen is a small tin clad box in the corner of the compound, the inside of which is black with soot and filled with an array of huge bowls, a gas canister and three rocks for a wood fire. The light filters in through the hundreds of rusting holes and the sun heats the box to about 50 degrees.
Waste DisposalWaste Disposal
Waste Disposal

With no organised system for collecting household waste, the people of Foundiougne use favourite spots to dispose of and forget about their waste. Pigs, goats, dogs and children work their way through the rubbish and what's left, when it becomes unbearable, gets burned and put on the fields - including batteries and other toxic waste.
I Hate Plastic BagsI Hate Plastic Bags
I Hate Plastic Bags

Everything comes in a plastic bag - drinks, servings of coffee and sugar. . everything you can imagine. The bags build up and get partially hidden during the rainy season as the weeds grow tall but, as soon as the weeds die back, the scale of problem reveals itself.
Colonial PastColonial Past
Colonial Past

Throughout Foundiougne, you stumble across old French Colonial buildings, some derelict like this one, others serving now as family homes or official offices.
Foundiougne SunsetFoundiougne Sunset
Foundiougne Sunset

Looking back from the "beach" towards the main part of town. The strange unfinished building has been that way since about 1980.

Two of Foundiougne's well respected elders look on as a newly delivered resident has a lock of hair removed in the first phase of a day long baptism ceremony.
Home For 2 MonthsHome For 2 Months
Home For 2 Months

This is the view from the training room back towards my hut (light blue one on the right). During the rains, the hedges seemed to grow about 5cm a day.

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