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Monday, January 21, 2013

Holy Crap, I'm going to West Africa!!

Hello again,
My biggest concerns were over what to pack and what I was going to eat. Hello! Unless you're new to Mai Musings, you already know that my biggest, almost daily concerns are what I'm going to eat, and what I'm going to wear. Yes, shallow I know but we all have our vices and mine are pretty harmless, for now. The clothing concerns surrounded both the weather and the culture of Senegal and the different regions that we would visit. Although Dakar, the capital is a major bustling city; Senegal is a predominantly Muslim country. I worried that I didn't own anything that was conservative, cute and comfortable. I didn't want to offend anyone's sensibilities but at the same time I didn't want to wear an overgarment/hijab/abaya/chador/burqa/jilbab just to travel without fear of harassment. This may sound silly to those who are familiar with Senegal, but as someone who didn't know more than 6 facts about Senegal. Yes, I counted. It really is 6:

1. They have a lake where the water is pink; Le Lac Rose
2. Dakar is the capital
3. It's in West Africa
4. French is the official language
5. It's a predominately Muslim country
6. Wolof is both an ethnic group (one of the largest I believe) and a language

My second concern was over food. I've eaten Senegalese food twice, count them 1 & 2. Once from a coworker's wife. I remember the meat being delicious and I attributed it not to the spices she used, but to it's halal state. Sidebar; when I become rich and famous am financially able I am going to only purchase halal/kosher meat. It is just so delicious. My second foray into Senegalese food was at a Senegalese restaurant in Boston, called Teranga, it wasn't the most pleasant. Although it's been almost two years, I distinctly remember not liking the flavors that assaulted my tongue. So back to the present day, can you understand my concerns? Thank goodness, the third time was really the charm. Stay tuned to see all of the delicious treats that tantalized my appetite for two weeks.

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