a walk in Dakar

kids_and_pirogues

Last Saturday was the first time I really ventured out in Dakar to see the sights. Here are some of the highlights from my stroll around town.

First I walked down my street in the direction of the ocean. It’s a busy road and to cross it you have to dodge constant two-way traffic, including amazingly decorated cars rapides.

car_rapide

On the way to La Corniche I passed a shop offering an interesting array of products and services.

seducation_coach

Once at the oceanfront I made a left onto the Corniche to go south. I took a look at a monument to Pan-Africanism, not to be confused with the African Renaissance Monument, which is just truly weird in every respect.

panafrican_tribute

A little further along the Corniche, I found a spot to go down onto the sand, and for the first time in my life I dipped my toes into the the eastern side of the Atlantic. (That might be a lie. I dipped my toes into vaguely Atlantic waters in Cornwall a few years ago. Does the English Channel count?)

atlantic_east_side

And still further down, I could just make out the tantalizing skyline of centre-ville.

downtown_senegal_in_distance

But my destination was closer – the marché aux poissons. I knew I was nearby when I saw a veritable parking lot of pirogues on the shore. men_and_pirogues

I almost walked by the actual market because no one was there at the time I visited. It was just a bunch of empty stalls with slabs for cutting up the fish. I thought I had arrived too late but apparently I was too early – the pirogues come back in with their catch later in the afternoon.

I also stopped at the nearby artisans’ market but didn’t take any pictures there because I was getting too much attention from the vendors to begin with.

After that I walked back uptown for a late lunch date with the parents of a friend of an ex-colleague of mine. They were absolute strangers to me but invited me over to their gorgeous house and encouraged me to think of it as my second home in Dakar. I was blown away by how far they went out of their way to make me feel welcome. My French teacher explained that Senegal is the country of teranga, which means “hospitality” in Wolof. Teranga is a very beautiful thing.

Today I’m headed in a slightly different direction, to see centre-ville (finally!). I checked 0ut this site called Agendakar and there’s lots going on downtown today. I am hoping to stop in at a photo exhibit called “Femmes en Résistance” and perhaps see the closing film in the Films Femmes Afrique festival, which I wish I had known about sooner. 

On that note, I’m off!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “a walk in Dakar

  1. I was just recently living with a host family in nearby Ouakam, a village a little ways north of Dakar along the Corniche, and your pictures are taking me back! Wishing I could still be there exploring Senegal like you!

Comments welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s