Sali Portugal, Senegal
24 April 2011
One of my favorite things about Senegal is that we get both Muslim and Christian holidays. My Christian friend from Joal invited us over for a family celebration with dozens of kids and great food. I enjoyed talking to the elders and learning about his dads career in the Senegalese Navy and visiting europe. Afterwards we walked over to Leopoldo Senghor's (the first President of Senegal) house and got a tour of the place where he was raised. The guide had lots of interesting stories like how his dad prophesied his rise to international fame when he first saw his mom (he told his buddy that even though she was ugly she would bear him a son who would take his name to all the world).
Later that evening we toured the seashell island of Fadiouth and my friend dispelled all the untruths that my previous guide had told me. For example, the large baobab in the center of the island was not used as a human sacrificial alter. Be careful of your guides, many are just telling stories they think tourists want to hear. As we climbed the dirty-white seashell cemetery the sun set over the mangroves and the golden light reflected in the puddles as the tide went out. Loud music played in the background as the crowds on the shore swayed to the beat of the tambour. We drove back to our hotel in Saly in the dark, dodging cows and people on the pitch-black road.