Monday, April 14, 2008

Xibaar Yi

So, since the last time I updated I've been up to quite a bit I guess. For spring break I took a trip south to the neighboring country of Guinea. It was pretty crazy, but it was an incredibly beautiful country. The region of Guinea we visited was known as Futa Jallon, the source of all the big rivers that come from West Africa. So it was very wet. We visited near 6 gigantic waterfalls.

I'm taking a class on environment problems in Senegal and we got the chance to visit the city's landfill known as Mbeubeus. Verrrrry disgusting trip! But worth it. The other picture is from Hann Bay, which used to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world; due to pollution it's now one of the world's most polluted. Pretty sad.

For Easter weekend, I went to the Lompoul Desert and rode camels! Lompoul is not quite the Sahara but it is very close, and it is a desert in fact!

Latest trip we took was to the Sine Saloum Islands. Our school took us all so we didn't have to worry about expenses aw yeah! We visited a Seerer village called Bazouk which was very cool. Seerer is one of the ethnic groups which actually refused Islam and embraced Christianity. They are a very minority group here though. In their village, they actually had a church and all the people wore Crosses around their necks instead of Islamic icons! It was very, very cool! My family is Seerer too, and I learned a bit of the language from being there. Our class actually participated in their traditional wrestling tournament as well which was pretty freakin' cool. I don't have a very good picture of this trip, but here's one of me and the guys on our porch!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Thus far cont.

These 3 girls kept warning me that the crocodiles would eat me! So I asked them for a picture and told them to act like crocodiles, I turned out being the only one with a crocodile face. - Next one is me with our "nature guide" who ended up not actually being a nature guide and he made 100 dalasis off us!

Monkeys! - Juffureh is the village where Kunta Kinte from Alex Haley's "Roots" was born, I went there.

Well, that's it for a little while I'm imagining, we'll see what happens. I fly out of Dakar on May 13 and arrive in the states on May 14. That'll make it 10 months completed in West Africa aw yeah! I'm looking forward to leaving, but I'll miss my adventures after 2 weeks of the states I'm sure. Oh yeah, in other recent news, I cut my hair and grew a beard! I'll get a picture up soon hopefully. Until next time! Ba beneen yoon inshala!!

Thus far

Hey readers! ...Hopefully there are some.
Well I'm finally into the second semester of the program and I'm on the home stretch with 2 1/2 months to go! French has improved a lot, but not enough according to the professors here. I now use Wolof during all my purchases and almost every conversation I make with Senegalese outside of my host family, and due to that, the prices of things have fallen drastically :) My skills at playing djembe have improved quite a bit as well due to the large amount of free time I had during Christmas vacation. I finally found a non-Catholic Francophone Church in the city which I've started frequenting instead of it's Anglophone counterpart.

Over Christmas break, I traveled as much as I could. I ended up doing some day trips to small cities not to far from the capital city, Dakar. I visited the cities of Thies, Mbour, Kaolack, Joal. I also did two bigger trips, one to the country known as The Gambia and another to the southern, more dangerous region of Senegal which is called the Casamance. In The Gambia, I actually got to see wild animals like moneys, hyenas and crocodiles! It's tropical and rainforesty in the south which is why I really wanted to see that area (I live in Subsaharan Africa, basically desert.) I actually traveled with a Senegalese friend to the Casamance which was cool, but I did have to pay for him in everything we did ...but he provided us with a family to stay with, which included eating and sleeping it was worth it. I actually don't have any pictures from the Casamance because my camera decided not to work during my time there, I was so bummed!!! ...I got a bunch from The Gambia though. For Christmas, I bought my travel buddy, Garret, his petite dejeuner and we celebrated by staying in the Catholic mission at Kaolack and going to Catholic mass in French. Wahooo. Here's a few pictures!
Mbour - Mafe, Lunch

Our mode of transportation-The guy in the middle is the definition of Teranga - me touching a crocodile

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's been a while!

Hey hey! It has been quite a while since I wrote a blog and so much has happened since my last post!

First off, I'm living in a new house. I no longer live with the Catholic family, I moved into a Muslim family for certain reasons. I moved out because my original host brother was stealing money from me and lying to me, he ended up stealing near $100 American and I got reimbursed $40 by his mom. We shared a room so he had easy access to everything I own. He did various other horrible things that I don't really want to share with the whole world. Anyways, My family now is very very nice. I'm the first student they've ever hosted and they are very nice to me. My new family is a lot more wealthy, and lives in a neighborhood which is quite a ways from school...but we are on the beach! Not that I am all taken away by the materialism in my new place, the people in my new family are very good for me. I have a host dad now which I didn't have in my other house, which is awesome. My host sister is only 2 1/2 years old so she won't be stealing my money and it's fun to have a little kid around! It's been going great so far with the new fam! I'm going to separate posts for several different things that have happened lately. Here's some pictures of my new neighborhood:
Here's my new room, this time I don't share a room ...I have my own bathroom too!

Here is some of the interior of my house:

Here is my house from the road:

And here is the mystery piano that I was so sad to find out is not a piano, it's a bar for all the alcohol! It only looks like a piano!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I posted a good number of the photos I've taken at You can see them at You might have to sign up for a photobucket account but that's alright.
Also, my friend, Garrett, has taken a bunch of good pictures. Not all of them are of Senegal but the first 5 pages or so are all Senegal. He updates often too. Check it out at

More pictures

This is behind my house

This is the mosque next to my house. The mosque announces prayers 5 times a day so it's incredibly noisy. My family is catholic so we don't participate but there is no way to avoid the loud prayers going on. ...It's kinda cool to hear actually. It hasn't gotten old.

Here's the front door to my house and my bed for the year!

Getting better

Hey all. Things are all starting to get better. I'm getting a lot more used to the living conditions and I'm making a lot of Senegalese friends who are helping me adjust quickly to the culture. Last weekend I went to my first Soccer match, it was Senegal versus Burkina Faso and Senegal won 5-1 oh yeah!! It was quite something, I opted to not sit with the other Americans I'm here with and I ended up in the middle of a wild and crazy bunch of Senegalese. Last weekend I also visited Gorée Island's a tropical island 15 minutes off the coast of Dakar with lots of history. We visited the slave house on Gorée where all the slaves were kept after they had been taken from the mainland Senegal. After we visited the museums and the slave house, we hit the beach, aw yeah!

I took some pictures of my neighborhood for all to see.
These are the roads I walk on to school: