Thursday, 5 April 2012

Merci Senegal, pour le bien venue

Thanks to co delegate Ricky for some lap top time to write up some of the goings on before we leave later today.

Before conference started I broke all the rules in the tourist guide book and spent best part of my day's pre conference holiday with a local man Abdu after asking directions to the beach. He introduced me to his brother who, for a living carves and sells prayer beads and jewellery from black and white ebony in a tiny 'workshop' hut next to the beach. Later I met many other members of Abdu's  family at a meal in the evening, including his 6 month old twin niece and nephew and their father ( a refrigeration technician) who live as part of the very extended family (of around 20) in the 5 or 6 rooms around the yard which is the hub of their home. Seven members of the family and I ate traditionally cooked spiced rice, vegetables and fish from a huge bowl together. Undoubtedly the best meal of the whole 10 days I have been here. They asked me what family life was like in the UK and it was interesting to do immediate comparison. Only four of us eat together (if we are lucky) in our house and we rarely if ever invite complete strangers to join us even if (and probably especially) if they are from another continent and don't understand our language.We spent a long time and some fun and drama exploring the Wolof word 'Teranga' which loosely means hospitality- for which the Senegalese are renowned.  Thanks Lonely Planet guide book for the advice  – but pleased I took a risk and experience the Teranga first hand.  

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