a prequel to Youssou


It’s a shame I couldn’t get around to writing about Youssou til more than a week later, but I was busy preparing for and then going on a second pick-up shoot in the Kaolack region over the weekend. 

Speaking of that shoot… here is the moment when the women of Forou Serer, a tiny village of 300 people, showed me what’s what when it comes to celebrating.

I literally get high off of the music and dancing in this country.

Please enjoy this video as a preview of the profound awesomeness that is to come… Up next, YOUSSOU!!! 

Kaolack et Latmingué redux


Two-day filming trip, back to the city and the 4,000-person town where I spent some time two weeks ago. Non-filmic highlights:


First shared meal, in Kaolack. Everyone creates little de facto plate borders for themselves out of the food itself, so it’s not really as shared (read: germ-swappy) as you would think.


I tasted baobab fruit fresh from the tree (the pod-thing it comes in is the top picture). It had the melt-in-your-mouth, chalky texture of astronaut ice cream and was sweet and tart at the same time.


Also, baby goats.


I just realized that most of what strikes me as notable and shareable during my travels is food-related. It is such a huge part of culture, no?

On that note, if the Internet cooperates, tomorrow I’ll post pictures of the delicious Senegalese Easter concoction I tried yesterday after it was mass-produced in my house (during a serious two days-long all-hands-on-deck operation).


touring Senegal

baobabsSo I got back from my trip Saturday night and it felt a bit like a homecoming, which was nice. But then again it also felt like exactly the opposite, which is part of what prompted the waterworks.

I am getting ahead of myself. The trip: I was hired by a non-profit that funds development work in Senegal (and other countries) to make videos about some of their projects. Since I traveled as part of a donor visit whose itinerary contained not only site visits but also lots of tourist stops, I got to enjoy plenty of off-the-clock sightseeing during the week we spent on the road. I also got to enjoy the company of the donors, who were a really fun and interesting group.


Continue reading