Friday, August 13, 2010

Talibah's coming with me!!

girlfriends having cocktails
by  siobhan gately
M
y colleague, Talibah, is coming on the mission to Mali with me. Originally, we were going to be travelling separately. She was going to fly from DC to Mali via Paris and I was headed to Mali via Senegal. She's now decided to go the same route as I am so we'll be travelling together to Mali, stooping over in Senegal.  I'm so excited that she's decided to come with!!

Initially, I suggested that she travel to Mali via Paris which is a beautiful city (one of my favorites) that would give her the creature comforts that she's used to. That was before Talibah, who had never travelled overseas before, went to Fiji on a work assignment. There she experienced what it's like to loose your luggage, eat food you've never seen before in your life and otherwise, have experiences that challenge all your senses. On her way back from Fiji, she stopped over in Toyko. Talk about a foreign culture. Not unexpectedly, she came back invigorated from her travels and she ready to explore the globe. :-) With that spirit running through her body, the thought of spending time in Dakar seemed so much more enticing than before.

I've already convinced her to sign up for the same tour of Dakar and Île de Gorée as I'm going on. We're now trying to find a hotel to stay at and I think I've found a nice boutique style hotel located right on the beach and which is very closely located to all the major sites. We'll see if we can book a room there.

We arrive into Dakar bright and early on Saturday morning and we don't leave for Bamako until Sunday afternoon so I'm hoping we can cram in as much sightseeing as possible. We've got the tour on Saturday and once that's over, I think we need to just chill though Dakar is famous for its live music scene. I would want to head to a club, even if it's just for an hour, to catch a live performance but we'll see how it goes. We'll have had a really long day by then and getting a good night's rest might be the only thing we want to do.
I'm thinking that on Sunday, we can do a couple of things before we have to leave for the airport.

Located, in short walking distance, from the hotel is the Musee de l'Ifan which is one of the oldest art museums in all of West Africa. If it's open on Sunday, we're definitely going.  I'm dying to see some African carvings and of course, textiles that this part of the world is so famous for.

Our hotel is also a short walk away from the Marché de Sandaga, which is a popular market in Dakar. I've read that it can be crowded and chaotic but I'm thinking we need to check it out - do a bit of souvenir shopping.

I want both of us to make the most of our short time together in Dakar so I'm going to cram in as much as is possible.  I have a feeling that Talibah won't mind :-)

Dakar.....here we come!!