Baobabs, Swimming and Thunder

Hilary Brown - Senegal


October 25, 2009

Yesterday after language classes we took a field trip to i’ile de la Madeleine, an uninhabited island off the coast of Dakar. In order to get there we took what looked like a long row boat with a motor. Due to the rocky shore around most of the island we were taken into a little cove that, aside from little pieces of plastic and other debris floating in the water, was absolutely beautiful. Being the group of people we are we all decided to explore the island. As we were lead up a rocky path by our french speaking tour guide, having to push away shoulder high grass and dodge tree branches, it was like going through a jungle! The whole time Ananda was narrating everything for a GCY flip video and Victoria was singing a song about baobabs which got us all laughing.

At the top of the island there was an amazing view of the ocean and Dakar. The tour guide explained to us that the French had originally tried to build a fort on the island however each attempt failed because the spirit of the island did not want people to inhabit it. The island is also known for its baobab trees, a symbol of Senegal. There they have grown spread out along the ground due to the wind. One of the baobabs is said to be home to the spirit of the city of Dakar.

After our walk around the island we all went swimming in the little cove. We had to watch out however for the sea urchins that covered the bottom. Before it was time to go we walked over the basalt rocks that make up the island to a little out look where we watched the waves crash into the rocks over time forming tunnels and caverns. On the way back we saw a gorgeous sun set just before the sky filled with the thunder and lightening of what is most likely the last rain, making a great ending to our day. Luckily we all got home before the deluge began!

Hilary Brown