Monday, August 28, 2006


a photographic footnote: during my time in sierra leone, i managed to fit in a week-long trip to senegal. the moment i landed in dakar, i felt like i had entered another world. the city had much of the basic infrastructure that freetown lacked, like electricity and running water...which meant flush toilets, television, and even hot showers in my hotel room!!

my one major obstacle in senegal was language. my english, spanish, krio, or mende (the last two being sierra leonean languages, which i'd picked up) did not help me at all in francophone west africa. despite my handicap, i somehow still managed to navigate fabric and fish markets, tour the old slave fortress, walk the cliffs along the coast, and escape the tenacious vendors eager to sell me medicine, cigarettes, shoes, tapes, bags of nuts, soccer balls, coconut husks, notebooks, towels, fruits, water...you name it. commerce has no language barriers. neither, hopefully, do photos!

the dakar skyline. it was overwhelming. multi-story buildings! paved streets! traffic lights! refrigeration! on the first day, i stopped by a cafe where i had fresh, cool yogurt for the first time in months and almost passed out from joy.

a goatherd by the oceanside on the outskirts of dakar.

an old colonial building in saint luis, senegal's second city.

a look down a saint luis street. the city gets pretty dusty from the nearby beaches, while the architecture remains dignified yet crumbling.

i always get excited about whimsically and colorfully decorated transportation. my favorite motif is the heavily-lashed eyes that are commonly painted on the fronts of careening buses.

some toothy goods at the fish market, a subterranean affair overflowing with seafood that was so fresh, there is not the faintest whiff of fishy odor in the entire building!


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