Thursday, February 24, 2011

i went to the canada of africa. and it was awesome.

so i recently took a little trip to Senegal for a softball tournament, the West African Invitational Softball Tournament. i am not very good at softball, but i am very good at sitting in a bus for 8 hours and then enjoying the more advanced nature of Dakar. What does Dakar have that Gambia doesn't, you may ask?
well. let me make a list.
1. real paved roads that are regularly maintained
2. sidewalks...which is good because when the road is nicely paved you can drive really fast.
3. street signs. and speed limits.
5. ice cream.
6. urban planning
7. beer other than julbrew
8. confusing money
9. trampolines on the beach
10. marines. apparently they guard the american embassy. in countries where the embassy might actually be threatened.
11. grocery stores that sell produce. even apples. APPLES.

so there are a lot of other differences, but these are the ones that really stuck out in my mind. also, fairly early on in my trip i decided that Senegal is the Canada of the Gambia. the similarities? Senegal has french-speakers, lots of plains/empty flat spaces, it's to the north (ahem. and the south) and therefore significantly colder (which was awesome), and they have a superior health care system. the rest is basically the same. it was not unlike going from america to canada. i dubbed Senegal "Canagal," which is really fun to say. I also tried to speak in a canadian accent whenever possible. i think others got tired of hearing "round-abooot" instead of round-about, but trust me, it was funny every time.
dakar is a nice city, but i think i'm a village girl at heart. I don't know if i'll ever go back. but i loved it. if you want details, you'll just have to ask.

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