STAYCATION to SENEGAL Posted by Erin on Jul 28, 2020 in Archived Posts
I don’t know about you, but during lockdown I have been to maybe three brick and mortar locations that are not my home in the last five months. Over the weekend, we shook things up and sat outside a Town Faire Tire for two hours while we had our tires replaced. As someone with a deep, unsated wanderlust on the best of days, I realized pretty quickly that a grassy knoll outside a strip mall was just not going to cut it anymore. I needed to take a Staycation.
I decided my first destination would be to Senegal, a Western African country with a capitol on the coast. I’m a fan of their music and food, and importantly I speak enough French to get by. An afternoon in Senegal would be just the ticket to get out of my lockdown blues.
So, if you’re ready and have your passport and good walking shoes, let’s go to Senegal!
Put on some Tunes!
Senegal’s capitol Dakar is known for having some excellent music, so for this trip, let’s start out with some Orchestra Baobab. They’ve been the house band at Club Baobab since the 70s, and their 2007 album, “Made in Dakar”, will be the soundtrack to our trip.
I challenge you not to dance to the first track, “Papa Ndiaye”, a song about the Senegalese football star. You can also check out the app Radiooo, which enables you to choose not only the country, but the decade of the music you’d like to hear!
Brush Up on Language
The official language of Senegal is French, but they have 39 languages knocking about, including Wolof and Bambara. Transparent Language Online has hundreds of language learning options, so we’re bound to find plenty to keep us busy. Let’s peruse the Transparent Language French Blog to get all our canards in order.
The website 360 Cities has hundreds of traveler panoramas available to explore. For our trip to Senegal, let’s visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory, The Dakar Train Station, and why not take a ferry ride?
Christin Bela talks about traveling to Senegal for the first time as an English and French speaker.
Eat some Senegalese Food
I won’t lie, this is my favorite part. Major staples of Senegalese food include peanuts, rice, and sweet potatoes, and that, to be frank, is my jam.
Taste Atlas has lots of delicious Senegalese dishes, and I’m going to order (read: make to the best of my ability) some Ndambé, a black-eyed pea stew. Here is an easy recipe that uses canned black-eyed peas for convenience.
Settle in for a film.
Roger Ebert said that film is an empathy machine, and with it we can glimpse into lives we could never live ourselves. With that in mind, the Senegalese film I’m going to watch as I dig into my Ndambé is Moussa Touré’s La Pirogue, which tells the story of West African villagers who decide to undertake the perilous crossing of the Atlantic in order to procure better lives in Spain.
You can find other Senegalese films over at Fandor if that doesn’t float your Pirogue.
Once that’s over, it’s time to rush back to the airport and get our connection back to reality, but I hope this has brought a little of the world to you today.
Next week, Nepal!
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