I (Joyce) recently returned from taking Justine (13), Alexis (16) & our friend, David (16) to Senegal.

Senegal is a third world country - so this was less of a vacation & more of a "field trip of a lifetime" that afforded us an up close and personal understanding of what real life is like in Senegal ... a culture & climate as far away as it is far different from what we're used to in America.

We stayed w/ my brother (Uncle Jimmy), who teaches elementary students in Dakar, & his wife, Aunt Ramona. We visited The Door of No Return (former slave house) on Goree Island, capital city of Dakar, the school where my brother teaches, outdoor marketplaces, the beach, a wild game park... and Justine finally met her pen-pal!

In the days leading up to our departure I posted here what I knew & was learning about where we were headed. Once we arrived in Senegal, I had the kids post some things as well. Justine was our main photographer.

We're back now & still trying to record our experience as it was hard to keep up while we were there.

Friday, April 23, 2010

African Renaissance Monument

After shopping for handbags at Samba's we stopped at a lighthouse and then here. This a brand new sculpture in honor of the African Rennaisance. It's bigger than the statue of liberty, cost $27 million to build & it has created a lot of controversery here. From what I gather, some are angry that the President of Senegal gets 35% of the revenue generated by admission to enter the statue. Some are angry that the woman's hair does not look African enough - & some are appalled that so much of the the woman's chest and leg are revealed. Revealing a woman's thigh is particularly offensive to the Muslims here. We climbed all the way up to it. The bottom pic is the kids sitting on the to step & enjoying the view from there.

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