I didn't think when I left Pau on Saturday 5th November 2022 that my trip to Senegal was going to be such a memorable experience! The trip started well with a delay at Toulouse airport which made us miss the only connection of the day from Lisbon to Dakar! The result was a day of sightseeing in the cool but sunny streets of Lisbon.
24 hours later, the plane finally took off for Dakar. As I left the airport at 1am, I felt the warmth of the air! Welcome to Dakar!
Our stay began with a series of workshops with the young people of Pikin, proud to present themselves as agents of sustainable development. Between storytelling, visual CVs and graphic facilitation, our workshops made me aware of these young people's concern about their future and their desire to live in a prosperous country for all its inhabitants. But for them, it is not yet won.
But my stay was not only a formal time with the young people. During the week, we went together to some of the historical, tourist and emblematic places of Senegal.
How could we arrive in Dakar and not visit the monument of the African Renaissance? How can you be on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and not make a pilgrimage to the island of Gorée? How to be in Pikine and not enjoy a sunset by the sea? How can you go to Sindia and not embrace an immense thousand-year-old Baobab tree?
And now the stay is coming to an end and it's time to leave. A week of intercultural shock but a beautiful lesson of life...
Despite the fatigue, people are happy! Despite the poverty, people are generous! Despite the hardness of life, people are affectionate! Long live the Senegalese Teranga!