In this area of the Sine-Saloum that we were located in there are five villages of which the closest one we could get to by walking was Ngallou. So we set out on our walk to see what we could see and in this case I'm going to start at the end which is when we actually arrived in the village itself. We basically worked our way to the beach side through the town first passing by the mosque.
So much of what we saw in the village at times is difficult to capture - in just offering up respect to the villagers when it's apparent we are the only white family present with a camera. There are times when we try to ask if it is okay. Other times we try to be quick about it. From the main dirt road you can pick a handful of sandy dirt street like paths that lead you past small concrete cinder block houses with corrugated roofing. You get the feeling the houses are not finished but they are. Although some appear abandoned those are usually ones where a house was started but the family ran out of money. We've been told this is common. So when they get more money they will start up again where they left off. If you can imagine two or three rooms - sparsely furnished - that represent the space that makes up a living area where perhaps they are eating on the floor too, cooking area, bathroom and bedrooms. Some have sand yards or courtyards with the demarcation being a wall of concrete cinder blocks. We pass along on this road looking at all the houses until we reach I guess what we would call the "village square" - a space with lots of little kids running around, goats, chickens, one big mama pig and even piglets. From what I remember there were a few shops - little general store fronts, a tailor who was sewing on his sewing machine and about 8 woman selling vegetables all next to each other on one side of the square in a u shape. Each one sitting in front of her stand which was really a large platter or two of vegetables that rested upon the top of a crate - the vegetables - honestly did not appear to be all that 'fresh'. I wasn't sure if really they just did not have alot to sell or had sold out by the time we were there. Also the region is dominant for fishing, salt, oyster and clam harvesting. So where they even obtained these vegetables - I would never know. I took a look and no one had any fruit so I asked one woman where it might be possible to find some bananas. After asking - she got up and told me to wait. She went to one store front. No luck. Went to another store no luck. Than had me come with her to the last one. The guy pulls out a plate with 5 bananas that were not fresh but also not ready for banana bread just yet - so I figured - with no roadside fruit stands appearing anytime during our walk from the lodge and then next town being perhaps another 30 minute walk - I thought I had better buy these. I ended up buying 3 - I figured the skin was still safely securing the edible banana we were going to eat, and she did go out of her way so I had to give her credit for "customer service". I ended up paying her directly and have no idea how the final transaction played out between her and the store owner. Now that the potassium has been secured and welcomed into our stomachs we are ready to continue. So just past the "village square" and pass by what would be the fish market with the little stalls but at that time we did not see any fish out. We ended up taking a walk along the beach and back
The sad part about the entire beach walk is that the shoreline is littered with garbage. It's such a shame. And oh - so much plastic!! Yet on the bright side there is always a pirogue coming in from a period of fishing.
While we continued to take the sights in - boys + firecrackers = making new friends. Yes, they are legal here. Easy to purchase and sometimes we just let it go. This one's for you Kelly, Rob and Bruce - the obsession has not ended but it has decreased since New Years. At this point they are the smallest ones you can buy. No guys on the street pedaling major rocket launchers any more.
While this is going on another pirogue is coming in onto shore.
It truly takes a village to bring these babies in. We continue to watch and eventually one of the boys with Parker and Addison mention that all the men help bring the boats in. It wasn't much after that Manning gets a head nod to come over and help - in other wards - Hey Dude, don't just stand there...