Weekend at Saly

I went to a beach town two hours from Dakar called Saly with a bunch of Chadian students. I went because it was cheap (less than $15 for transport to/fro, lodging and meals the entire weekend). Since there is no such thing as a free lunch (or even a dirt cheap lunch), I shoulda known what was coming with the $15. First off, we were promised three meals a day (we got at most one REAL meal – breakfast was two/three dumpling/bun like things and a mini cup of coffee; lunch was always too late; and dinner, we just never had). There’s a photo below of a lunch dish that we absolutely CLEANED UP, starved we were.

And lodging – we slept (at least) seven to a room (we had to scramble to find somewhere to sleep even – there were lots who slept on anything they could find including the bare ground), and the shower tap in the bathroom in our fought-for room room was ON all weekend because nobody could figure out how to turn it off. I definitely expected poor organization (anything run by students…) but I hoped it wouldnt be as bad as it was.

Looking at the bright side, the discomforts were only for a couple of days and I’m pretty sure I’ve put up with worse. And I got the chance to travel outside of Dakar (within Senegal) for the first time since I’ve been here. I also had my first party house experience (long overdue!) and got a chance to see (West) African Youth at their ‘partiest’.

A note here on partying African Youths – they are tame compared to what I’ve seen or heard of, definitely compared to Canadian university students. 100-something youths in their early twenties in a party villa in Canada? I would have seen more than my share of condoms, too many empty alcohol bottles to count, and the odd alcohol-poisoned or seriously injured youth. Maybe it’s MTV in North America. Or maybe it’s that Africa youth actually DANCE, which takes up time thus leaving less time to do other things. Sometimes it just leaves them too tired to do other things. And this includes men. In fact, sometimes men are often more enthused about dancing than women (noted on this trip). One of the girls I went with commented on Sunday afternoon, ‘some people just CANNOT NOT move when they hear music’. Or maybe they realize they’re still young and should dance all they can while they can. Whatever they case may be, they are tame, and I am glad for it.

Would I do this kind of trip again? Not really sure. There were too many people (one hundred and forty-something in one villa), too many things poorly organised or not organised at all. But it was cheap, I got a chance to travel within the country for the first time since my time here and more interestingly for me, I got to see how the African youth ‘gets down’. So maybe.

Check out the pics below.


The Monument…up close!


It might appear that I have a slight obsession with this thing but that is not the case. It’s just that the sight of it is, well, unavoidable – at least from where I live. Anyway, I decided to do something with my life and walk up the stairs to get a close-up view , so below are some pics! Despite my principled opposition to ‘the thing,’ it is NICE up there. You get the wonderful sea breaze and a rather nice view of the city and the ocean. AND there’s greenery! For this reason alone, I will be returning…