March 4, 2015

Saint-Louis: Spring Break

The waters of Le fleuve, Senegal

Le fleuve Senegal

After our adventure/misadventure in the Gambian boarder, A friend of mine and I thought we could get some real rest inside of Senegal for spring break. We decided to go to the north of Senegal for the rest of the week in Saint-Louis. We left on Wednesday.

 

A view of a horse from the carriage it is pulling along the street in Balade en chaleche, Senegal

Balade en chaleche

Here we are at this calm, beautiful and historic town of Saint–Louis. We were in a chariot on a tour learning about the history of Saint-Louis. Saint Louis is this popular and colorful place. The Portuguese, English and the French tried to control this place, as it was once the entranceway into West Africa. Saint Louis was the capital of Senegal but also the entire French West Africa. One can also admire the contrast between the North of Island (Muslim) and the South of Island (Christian) and the different influences.

Trees lining the street somewhere in the south side of Saint Louis, Senegal

Somewhere in the south side of Saint Louis

(Un)fortunately for Saint-Louis, after the abolition of slavery and the introduction of the peanut culture by the French, the capital was moved to Dakar. When the capital moved to Dakar, everything moved with it. I could see the negligence (trash along the

street and the degradation of the buildings) of this very important and historical city. But I can relate to this centralization problem as well with my experience in Madagascar. Antananarivo, the capital, is much more taken care of than other cities because the government and ministers are there. Saint-Louis in my humble opinion has a lot of potential with its history, fishery and tourism but it needs special care.

Boats docked on the water in St. Louis, Senegal, with the fishing neighborhood behind

St Louis, the pirogues et fishermen neighborhood in the background

When in Saint-Louis, one cannot miss the fishing neighborhood. It is the most populated area of Senegal. Viewed from the outside, it looks like a poor neighborhood but people have enough to eat each day.  A tradition that is still kept among the fishermen of Senegal is to bring their wife into their home where the rest of the family resides already and where the next son will do the same thing.

The colorful waters of Fleuve,  Senegal

Fleuve Senegal

posted in Rebeka Ramangamihanta

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