Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
Trip End Dec 15, 2006

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Flag of Senegal  ,
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It was a long voyage across the country of Senegal from Dakar to Kedougou, but I arrived safely (although with a bit of a stomach ache despite the Dramamine I had taken). We stopped for a night in Tambacounda, a small city in southeastern Senegal, where we stayed at a hotel that had a pool. A pool! It was glorious finally being able to swim in a body of water that didn't throw rocks at my feet or toss me underneath strong waves. The next day, all of the students were more refreshed and excited to get to our "campement" in Kedougou. We stayed in tiny light green huts that had both electricity and air conditioning units. There was also water pressure in the shower... what luck!

After I washed my hair and made it look all pretty and curly and almost normal, I put it up in a ponytail to get ready for our first hike in the mountains of Kedougou. Most of my friends can tell you that I'm quite afraid of heights, and they all would have been very proud to see me climbing up the huge boulders like a monkey just to get a good picture of the Senegalese countryside. From the top of the mountain, Etchwar, the hills and mountains of Guinea were clearly visible.
It was incredible meeting the Bedick people who lived at the top of the mountain of Etchwar. The village was very calm and welcoming, and it amazed me how muscular everyone was. I guess you have to be in shape to walk up and down the mountain more than a few times a day! After our shirts were all dripping with sweat, we returned to a nice, warm, family-style meal at our "campement" followed by a fun night of Senegalese-style charades.
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