What is Senegal?
Senegal is the salty scent of the sea, othertimes of unbearable heat. In the mornings we wake up to the cry of a cock, the sweetness of a café Touba, and the waft of freshly baked beignets. At midday it is the warm touch of sun upon our skins and the taste of steamed rice in the air, while in the evening when the streets begin to darken, people become ghosts, each dancing hurriedly towards a different destination.
In the streets it is the bleating of goats, the beeping of taxis, the cries of running children and the clinging of horse carts which envelop us. Sometimes the traditional music of Mballax steals itself out of a shopfront, enchanting our bodies with the need to dance. And when it is time, the peaceful cry of the muezzin erupts into the sky.
The guttural sounds of Wolof follow one around like a faithful shadow; while passing bus apprentices cry out their destinations, market women pause for a moment to gossip in the streets and greetings are exchanged in a flow of repetitions.
Who is Senegal?
Senegal is charming, beautiful in her multitude of colours. She entices with her confidence and her pride, while her utter hospitality puts even the most timid person at ease.
She can be rough however, and dangerous. Do not judge her actions, for how can you know what she has gone through in her life? When it comes to life itself, Senegal’s experience has no limits; it extends itself towards the horizon.
She never gives up a fight even if this means she won’t sleep for a month. Nobody will notice when she is so tired she cannot stand anymore, all they will see is a smile of warmth.
Senegal is not easy to understand- she has so many faces, so many sentiments and differences. But that is what makes her interesting after all, isn’t it?