Blogs from Sokone, Fatick Region, Senegal, Africa


Africa » Senegal » Fatick Region » Sokone February 12th 2012

part iii of iv ...lutte is a lot about multitasking in Senegal, one needs to adapt early to sleeping, eating, reading, writing, watching t.v., dancing and conversing all in the milieu of ten other people doing any one or two of these activities as well. there is little peace and no concept of privacy or consideration of others' physical or psychological needs that i have seen or felt. for better or worse in Senegal, life goes on around you, and yours goes on around others. loudly. absently. (as for when sex happens, i am still wondering about this...). until today, i had only caught lutte at its extremes: a) on the beach - where there is no expectation that focus be given to one set of two tiny boys sparring amid the array of beach hullabaloo ... read more
gamou 2012; night of multitaskers
whacking waltz
djembe  jive

Africa » Senegal » Fatick Region » Sokone February 12th 2012

part iv of iv ...lutte remixes the hi-tech and low-tech typical Senegal, there has been an accommodating of hi-tech into daily life, without total assimilation or even obvious leaning toward wanting to lead a hi-tech life. that is, tradition and african life live alongside the blackberry (at least for now). this lutte match was no different: a large generator kept the string of faulty bulbs glowing, along with a radio and speakers that were literally taller and wider than i. the dimly lit spectator benches had bright spots of cell phone luminescence. but to keep the mosquitos away? no sprays, no creams, no nets, no fancy t.v. advertisements about malaria or anti-mosquito products...but instead during pre-game, the field boys made small shell mounds, added sand on top, then a a few sticks, then lit a little ... read more
horse tech

Africa » Senegal » Fatick Region » Sokone February 11th 2012

part ii of iv like other aspects of Senegalese culture... ...lutte is slow, builds momentum, and takes as long as it takes, and ends on an upnote the pre-game time, though soundtracked with booming stereo music, started with bare minimum of lights and people and energy...but the evening slowly built in momentum as one by one fighters showed up, the decibels on the stereo were turned up, field boys began their duties, spectators filed in. no one was rushing. and it took as long as it took for the fighters to show up and the matches to get going. and when it did get going, it was like no other frenetic energy i have ever experienced at a sports event. and the round between two fighers? takes as long as it takes....but those last few seconds, ... read more
travel clock, senegalese clock
maribou match
big brother maribou graffiti

Africa » Senegal » Fatick Region » Sokone February 10th 2012

part i of iv 'lutte' is the highly acclaimed and deeply beloved Senegalese national sport – and is essentially a traditional form of wrestling... ...and considering i don't even like the western world version of lutte, my enthusiasm for attending a local match tonight was driven only by curiosity...and a desire to break through my aloof attitude towards something so important to a country I love. and that I did. i normally catch lutte on the beach. often towards sundown, boys and young men begin their very casual, definitely unrefereed matches. having never bothered to inquire with friends, i still have no clear idea of what goes, what doesn't go, and what is considered below the belt. once in a while, I catch the other extreme of lutte: very professional and definitely refereed. these major matches ... read more
casual beach lutte
the playing field
water boy

Africa » Senegal » Fatick Region » Sokone November 18th 2008

This past weekend I went off into the bush in search of adventure. Friday morning, 7:30 am- I leave Dakar- nine hours, two buses, a taxis, two decrepit station wagons, a motor bike, a boat and a mule drawn cart later I reached my destination: Keur Bamgboun outside of Toubakouta. Keur Bamgboun is a village campment constructed four years ago with the help of a French environmental NGO and the hard work of 14 neighboring villages. In 2004 the area became a natural preserve, the tiny cluster of solar power equipped huts were built, and an economy built on ecotourism began. I was their sole overnight patron, which allowed me the tranquility that I searched. I spent the weekend kayaking and hiking through the mangroves. I saw a number of beautiful birds, red backed monkeys, and ... read more
foot steps
the mangroves

Africa » Senegal » Fatick Region » Sokone September 10th 2007

After weeks of metropolitan comfort spent between Bamako and Ouagadougou, the mere idea of hitting the devastated road of Africa again on vehicles that common sense would have scrapped two or three decades ago, seemed just depressing. And, as always happens in these cases, when one must choose between a present of lazy convenience and the promise of an unsafe future, the latter continues to be delayed indefinitely. And how different can look the very same city when cruised with people who live more or less permanently in it! At first call, travelling east, Bamako had seemed to me like another, unfortunate, huge urban agglomeration of Africa, but now, among less nomadic friends, it looked more like a big, chubby town where people find (plenty of) time to fill up the Bla Bla and each other ... read more
Senegalese Wrestling
Termites. Huge.
A Peaceful African Sunset

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