Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Like every morning in Dakar we woke up drowsy, but not as bad as the four mornings prior. It seems that these five days in Dakar have been a good transition into the five-hour time difference from the States. Today was our last full day Dakar, Senegal; so it took a lot of discussion to decided how to spend it. We decided on a visit to Goree´ Island and dinner at the most western point of Africa.
Omar is the day guard for the guesthouse here and is the same age as Cass and I. He is a very nice guy whom we have shared several conversations and a Mango with. As he opened the gate for us today we told him of our plans and wished him a good day. The guesthouse is in a cul-de-sac at the end of short road leading to the ocean (every road seems to lead to the ocean as we are on a small peninsula). We walked to the end of the road where a man has a fruit stand. We have bought fruit from him everyday, today it was two bananas. Then on to the bakery to buy some bread, but just any bread – awesome bread with yellow stuff inside! I do not know what it is, but it is mighty tasty. We actually bought the bread just to get some small change. Most people here only use small change and can not break a bill over 5,000cfa ($10).
Cass still knows the Wolof that she learned when she was here before and she got us a taxi to the port of Dakar. After waiting a while we boarded a fairy heading to the island. The architecture in the city is simple square buildings made of sender blocks, but the architecture of Goree´ Island is much nicer! The buildings on the island are of a Spanish influence and beautiful.  There were plenty of tour guides offering their services once we got off the boat. We chose a guy named Julian. Julian had “Rasta hair” (dreadlocks) and seemed to be well like around the island. We saw several slave houses and the small, inhumane, places the people were kept. We learned how the slaves were selected and sold and even where in West Africa most of them came from, Mali (where we will be for the remainder of our trip) being one of the places. It was amazing to stand in the tiny rooms where literally millions of others where once held captive.
After our tour of the island we rested on the beach and watched all the people. Soon a boy who had noticed my chacos falling apart appeared and before I new it had my shoe trying to fix it. He insisted that there was no charge and figuring that the shoes needed fixing more than they did not, I let him continue. Being the wonderfully nice guy that I am I gave him a tip and now I am happy to say that the souls of my chacos are well intact again - well sort of well intact, there is only so much a toothbrush and glue can do.
We finished our day with a trip to the most western point of Africa and a nice dinner with Cass’ friend. Our trip to Dakar has been a great transition into the culture and temperature of West Africa. Tomorrow we will depart for Mali and trade this nice 80+degree weather for hot 95+degree weather. Cass and I can already see where God is beginning to work in our own lives and we are excited to see what the next three months have in store for both us, and the people of Mali.

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