Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quick stop Dakar, Senegal

Three days of snow delays cut my weekend visit to Dakar to an 7 hour jaunt. Thanks to a Princeton in Africa Fellow, I jam-packed the day and at least got to see some stuff. We had breakfast at a rooftop restaurant with a wonderful view of the coast line and the cosmopolitan city below. I got to visit World Food Program and meet her boss. Then we spent a few hours walking around downtown and topped it off with lunch at the French Cultural Center an amazing green oasis in the middle of town.

I certainly wasn’t in Dakar long enough to form major impressions, but first I want to say that it is GREAT to be back in Africa. There is just a feeling here that makes me feel at home. Instantly I feel relaxed and welcomed. I just can’t get enough of the big smiles and friendly faces.

This is my first trip to West Africa and I can tell its going to live up to my expectations. The thing that makes this city stand out from other places I have been is the colorful wardrobes the men wear. All over the world women continue to wear traditional dress and in Dakar they do too. The colors and fabrics are awesome. But usually men wear the same clothes no matter where you are, but not in Dakar. Many of the men are colorfully dressed too. Long robes, impressive embroidery and a variety of hats dot the sidewalks. The abundance of color here gives India a run for its money.

Unfortunately I have no photos yet, but hopefully I’ll get time to take some on the other day layover I have there.

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