Centuries stolen from us, time that would’ve made Africa one of the most established continents in the world. Instead, time was used to degrade the authenticity of Africa, while extracting that which wasn’t theirs. It isn’t late for us to revitalize our continent. I’m aware of the obstacles we face but, in time we’ll unite and divert from the colonial ways of doing. For now, I will utilize my upcoming years to unlearn 22 years of misinformation. I am taken back my stolen years, Join me!

Aug 18, 2010

A Day At "Lac Rose"

Today I took my first tour to the north of SENEGAL. My second weekend in Dakar and it was Amazing!!! We went to see the “Lac Rose” which means “Pink Lake” one of the many tourist attractions in Senegal. It's called the Lac Rose because the high salt content, the microscopic algae and micro-organisms from the water give it a pink color. Depending on the time of the day and when the light passes through it turns to shades of pink/purple until late afternoon. From Dakar it took us about 1.5 hours to get there. Our return trip took about two hours. On the weekend public transportation is slower, however if you don’t have a private car the best means of getting to LAC ROSE is public transportation. We took the public bus call “Tata" got drop of at one of the Liberty 6 stops and took the taxi the rest of the way. Never pay the full prices propose by the drivers; always negotiate for a lesser price. As we drove to the site we engaged with a few locals, I was impressed with how welcoming they were. Hospitality is best defined by Africans. We finally got to the site, thanks to a wonderful taxi driver and we were all blown away. The scenery was breath taking! There are many activities one can do to keep busy through out the day, such as horse riding, camel riding, touring on four wheelers, touring by foot, etc. If you want to get a good work out take the tour on foot (about 8km), but make sure you take lots of water as it is very hot. Tourists have to be careful with the acumen strategy used by the women to purchase their hand made work. They approach you with a huge grin on their faces; no one in their right mind can dare walk away from. Present you with a gift (free of charge). The men are given necklaces, women bracelets or both. As you walk away, they then ask you to look at the supplies,
how can one refuse to buy after such a nice gesture? However, don’t feel obligated.

Our first  attempt to capture the color of the Lake
Me attempting to carry a basket of supplies
They are so peacfeul. Take a ride on them if you can
As we cross the lake, on the shore you see men/women extracting and carrying tons of salt
It's Ramadan in Senegal, so many are fasting.  The man steering the boat did not eat/drink all day! So when we got to the other side safe we were very happy
After 30mins of walking in the desert we finally got to a beach. Yeah!!!!
What a day! would love to stay and just enjoy the water.
Apart from being a tourist area, Lac rose is one of the largest sources for extracting salt in Senegal. Women carried pounds of salt on their heads and due to my limited Wolof I could not engaged them. It is quite obvious that is very difficult, physically and mentally for the men and women working at the lake. According to our tour guide women who work on the lake for a long period are prone to birth defects and physical harm. Although the conditions these women are facing are completely different from the low paying jobs in the States, my mind could not help wandering back to these few lines I jotted down a while back…..

 Dream...?

Work! They say, so I work
Speak! They say, so I speak

Work Harder! So my hours become my family
The little ones are just #s now

Speak Louder! So I shout but it’s not phonetically correct
Nobody can comprehend

Why  am I working so hard?
Why am I shouting at the top of my lungs?
F***, I am 65 years old and I am still in the bottom 95%

Although Senegal is not one of the richest countries on the continent when it pertains to resources, Senegal is one of the countries in West Africa that has enjoyed stability since independence from it colonizers. Yet, poverty is prevalent amongst its’ citizens. Like most African countries the justification for disparity among the rich and the poor in my opinion can be easily answer. However, we all have chosen specific reasons as to why poverty is prevalent in Africa. I pose this question to all reading this: Who is benefiting the most from the vast resources extracted from Africa? The current methodologies use to eradicate poverty in Africa is not working, what do you propose?

To view more pictures click here

2 comments:

  1. I just heart the pic of you attempting to carry a basket of supplies...quick question though...how far did you go?

    great pics and I'll be reading "the stolen years"

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  2. enjoyed reading and seeing your trip. would love to document something similar one day.. Michael (aka Voyages2004)

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