Senegal

April has been such a strange month weather-wise. We got a lot of snow at the beginning of the month and now that it’s warmed up it’s been hot. It feels like the summer months, when I start to pull out clothes from Senegal that I wear to lounge around the house in.

This weekend I also attended a party hosted by friends who lived in Africa for awhile. They didn’t live in Senegal, but while we were talking I realized that the feelings that my friend described about the country she lived were the same feelings that I have for Senegal. 
Some of you may know that after I graduated high school I spent nearly three months in Dakar, Senegal and the country captured my heart. I tortured myself with two and half years of French during college so that I won’t need translators when I’m out in Dakar if I ever go back. I still think of Senegal regularly and wistfully and looking at these pictures…. 
I want to go back!
(Just not when it’s hot. Because when it’s hot, it’s hot. I’m talking, I’d put eyeliner on in the morning and a few hours later it would be completely gone. Not a trace, not a smudge. And it was suffocating to sleep with the mosquito net. And by the time I left you could see my footprint on my flip flops, which I thought was pretty cool because I saw the same thing on the flip flops of the people who had lived there for years, so I actually kept that pair of flip flops for awhile.)
Since some people have asked me to talk about my experience in Senegal (*cough*Tara*cough*) I thought I’d share some pictures. This probably isn’t quite what you were looking for, but it’s a start.

One day I was able to slip out of the city to go to a village. I would have loved to spend more time there.

[I believe the last picture is of a plant that was a victim of locusts.]
One of my favorite outings was to a game park, where the animals were able to roam. It was amazing to be near all of these animals.

[When we were standing by the water, the guide looked at the water buffalo and asked if I could run in flip flops. I never figured out if he was kidding or not.]

[I fell in love with rhinos that day. Also, I was in a truck, so no need to run. :)]

I visited the western most point of continental Africa.

And returned there when a friend swam from Dakar to Goree Island. I don’t have any pictures from the island, though.

When I returned home, my hair was in braids and my hands were covered in henna. I was also wearing pants made with African fabric. At the airport, I saw my parents waiting for me as I made my way to baggage claim but I actually had to walk up to them for them to realize it was me. 



[After two weeks of braids, my dad took them out and this is what my hair looked like.]
So, there’s a little glimpse of my time in Senegal. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look at airplane tickets.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Optimistic Existentialist
    April 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Oh wow Crystal this is so neat I had no idea that you spent time in Dakar! That's very inspiring 🙂

  • Reply
    The Hmong American Mom
    May 3, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Thanks for sharing Crystal! The pictures are amazing and looks like you had an awesome time and made so many great memories!

  • Reply
    *tarazza
    May 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I'm very sorry I didn't comment earlier, because I loved this entry! Yayyy, pics of you, and obviously your time in Senegal sounds so amazing. I'm sure you'll get back there when you're able to, and it will feel like a homecoming of sorts.

    Those animals! Those braids!

    It makes me want to travel.

  • Reply
    Erika from Chimerikal
    July 24, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Oooh, this was really fun to get a glimpse into your time in Senegal!! I first went abroad in high school about 10 years ago and honestly, that time still impacts me and just changed the course of my life for sure — so I totally get that! And wow, it just looks so WILD! And exotic with all the animals! 🙂

    Oh, and… oui, je peux parler en français mais il y a longtemps depuis la dernière fois que je fais ça. ah, starting to write in french, i am realizing that it's been way too long! i am RUSTY!

    –Erika
    http://www.chimerikal.com

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