Friday, October 2, 2009

Toubab Dialow

No blog posts for the last week; I've been sick and in bed for the majority of my days since Monday. Although I did discover that doctors will do house-call consultations for $50. And if you have need of their services later in the week? They'll come a second time for free.
Anywho, to the more interesting part: the artist's colony CIEE visited last weekend!
Toubab Dialow is, almost literally, an oceanside paradise. The mosaic-ed walls of the hotel rose above a white beach whose shore stretched to the left and to the right almost as far as the eye could see. Small children were constantly at play among the pirogues (Senegalese fishing boats) and the pelicans. During our first lunch there, we saw two adolescents capture a pelican live (for that night's dinner, of course) from the rocks jutting out into the sea.
Since the area is an artist's colony, CIEE planned our first day to be filled with one class of our choice (dancing, drumming, or batiking) and complete relaxation. Thus, in between my naps in the hammock above the beach, I made a batik using a wax and dye technique. First, we drew our desired pattern on our 1/3 yard of fabric and painted select portions with hot wax. This finished, we chose the two colors for our batik and left the swatches with the professionals to have them dyed. The next morning, my fabric was dark blue with a light blue tinge to the waxed parts. I then painted the sections that I wanted to be dyed the second color in hot wax and relinquished my fabric to the pro again. By afternoon, my new batik was dyed, washed, and Saturday night, the hotel and CIEE organized a dance and drumming concert, but unfortunately, as I had begun to feel ill that morning, and the maladie had progressed to near full force by that evening, I headed to bed early, to the room my roommates and I christened "the seashell treehouse with princess beds".
Morning two: I felt better, and rejoiced to find millet bread (!!!! This was the first time I had seen anything resembling a whole grain in Senegal. You can imagine the excitement, even if I were ill) and strawberry-like preserves. The rest of day two was spent in the hammock, like day one.
Even though I was ill, I felt thankful that I was ill in paradise. There's no better place to heal than an area where one feels completely relaxed amongst peace and beauty.
Next week I'm off on fall break! Three of my classmates: Ed, Jocelyn, and Kate; and I are off to a region in southeast Senegal known as the Bassari country to backpack for the week. It's going to be eight days of nature, adventure, and of course, Senegalese October heat. I'm so excited! I promise I'll fill you in in a timely manner the week of the 12th.

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