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.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Driving in Dakar

This is a jagenjai (sp?!) ...public transit! They're usually packed w/ people like a can of sardines & people often ride on the back bumpber. They hop in & out/off & on  while it's moving - & here the guy up top is standing while it's moving & I think he's pumping something up - just not sure what.

Ramona gave me some of her videos to share. This is a very short clip looking out the window while driving in Dakar... the yellow & black car at the end is a typical taxi & the white vans are one form of their public transit called Jagenjais (quite sure butchered the sp of that word!). The women (men too, actually) carry all sorts of things on their head. Buckets of water, crates of eggs, bowls of fruit/fish, you name it! People on foot (you'll even see a bicyclist here) are continually mixed in w/ the traffic - esp in the more congested areas of the city & traffic.... hardly any crosswalks or traffic lights. Now that I think of it, I don't even remember seeing a traffic light. My brother said that the new teachers at the school where he teaches are not even allowed to drive for three months.

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