Since October, our Bridge Year cohort has been loving life in Dakar. From the tasty options of street food to the celebrations of religious holidays, births, and marriages, Dakar offers many new and exciting things to experience every day. Each of us have settled nicely in our daily routines of going to work, learning French, Wolof and most recently Pulaar, and spending time with our families. Our FOI (Focus of Inquiry) Fridays thus far were quite informative as we focused on the themes of the Senegalese government and structures, culture, and the arts. We spoke with village chiefs of the Lebu community in Ngor about their history in Dakar. Touba TV spotlighted us on their news after our visit to to the studio where we discussed the role of media in Senegal. At the French institute, we enjoyed a powerful concert that included a critique of the impact of colonialism by a West African band, Majnun, that ended with a crowd of people below the stage who left their seats to dance. All these FOI experiences and group outings have given us more insight into Senegalese culture outside of what we explored on our own.
Even as we grow fond of Dakar, we prepare to leave for our Winter Excursion, beginning December 27th to travel to two villages in southern Senegal: Kolda and Kedougou. We will be doing a week long homestay in a rural village and trekking parts of the region. This will be a nice break from city life and we look forward to spending time together like our orientation once again.
Ba Cikanam, Dakar! Happy end of 2019 and see you in the new year!
(Ba Cikanam, Wolof word for “see you later”)