My amazing journey as a volunteer with CoprsAfrica/Maroc is finished; however, another one has started but this time with corpsafrica in its start-up program in Senegal. January, 28th was the time date we (Walid and I) headed for Dakar. We had two days to stay in Dakar before we went to Thies city to start the training. Thus, we had the opportunity to chill and visit places there.
Among the great places we visited was Île de Gorée (i.e. "Gorée Island"). A gorgeous island located 2 kilometers at sea from the main harbor of Dakar. It is not big (It is an 18.2-hectare), but it has a heavy history. From this place the some African slaves were transported to the new world. The Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) is one of the oldest houses on the island. It is now used as a tourist destination to show the horrors of the slave trade throughout the Atlantic world. To get into the island, we took the ferry. The ferry trip takes 20 minutes and you can book a tour if you wish to from the docks in Dakar. Goree Island is calm compared with the noisy streets of Dakar. There are no cars on the island and it is small enough to find your way around on your own although there will be plenty of "Guides" offering you their service. Across the island many people are selling traditional tricks. It was there where the first time we tested some Senegal juices, e.g., “Bissap”. The island was visited famous people such us president bush and Obama, the singer Akon, and others. In general, we had great moments in the Island.
We stayed, while we were learning Wolof, with the host families. My host family was great. I had mom, two host brothers and two host sisters. My mom is very kind and always prepares delicious dishes like “Yassa Ginaar” (yassa chicken), Yassa djeen (yassa fish), and Moroccan couscous. She is really interested and involved in politics; she is a member in the party of the president. As I am writing this blog she went out to vote in the referendum that is organized today in Senegal. What was surprising to me is that the family knows morocco very well; my host sister spent three years in Fes city studying there, their cousin lived five years in morocco, and my host brother visited morocco three times. My integration with them was quick; I even felt that I am with my family. We spent the time discussing and comparing what morocco and Senegal have in common, and how they differ.
In this blog, I tried to give I brief description of what I have done after nearly living two months in Senegal. After two days, I am moving to my community, so stay tuned; the show is about to get started☺.