Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sailing in Ngor bay

Getting ready to go on a Hobie 15

Gina enjoying some fresh air and jib handling

Toward Ngor beach and village

Tiphaine concentrating on keeping left from right...

How soothing...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

B&G June newsletter from Dakar

B&G June newsletter from Dakar, (click on links for more information and look elsewhere on the blog for the photos)

Dear friends and family,

Hurray! We just had our first rains of the last 8 months. The temperature and humidity are slowly rising (30C) and we are starting to sweat. Not helping is that we are now experiencing long daily power and water cuts, sometimes at the same time. So, at least, we're enjoying more reading.

Bernard's job is finally slowing down after the furious first 2 months when the project was 3 months behind schedule and finishing at the end of June. Now, all the planned activities have been completed and it's just a matter of finalising all the financial and narrative reports, but with some foot-dragging partners. One of the small perks of the job is that I can take some management and leadership e-courses at Cornell University. Here, Friday 2PM is the weekly public prayer time, the downtown traffic comes to a stop with crowds kneeling on the streets facing East on their mats to the call of the muezzins. At work, it means that Friday is a very colourful fashion show (I feel so casually under-dressed!) but one can be excused from work at 13:30.

Gina really enjoys her new part-time job, teaching English 2 hours twice a week to fifteen professionals and university students.

Recently we “discovered” one of Dakar's best kept secrets, the world's smallest national marine park. It seems to come straight out of a Jules Verne novel. Les Iles de la Madeleine are a small island with adjacent rocks with stunning landscapes of black basalt formations dotted with white guano, cliffs, rocks, gravel coves, dwarf baobabs, and many birds including the elusive and beautiful phaeton.

We have enjoyed a few concerts, classical piano and African music, the best being Habib Koité. We spent a fabulous day during the Gorée View on Courtyards, an art festival where many beautiful buidlings and gardens on the island were open to the public. We occasionally go kayaking with friends between Dakar and Gorée. Gina signed us up at the club Atlantique conveniently located on our shopping and work commute route and where we can go swimming several times a week and also enjoy a vegetarian falafel on the week ends.

Best wishes,

Bernard and Gina and the ZZs.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Best cats - ours and others

Hip beach bum kitty, waiting for fish bits from a broken beach locker on Gorée

Cool drumming kitty, waiting for a tip on Gorée

Iles de la Madeleine

Phaeton, rarely seen near land.

Dwarf Baobab, half buried in sand.

Greater cormorants on basaltic rocks

Jules Verne's Nautilus stopped here in the 1860s

Gorée View on Courtyards (Vue sur Cours)

Clash of cultures: 1) the WWII gunsight, 2) the modern sail-like symbolic concrete monument (with no explanation of what it means) and 3) local textile artists displaying their wares among various gun emplacements.

The (in)famous House of Slaves, now a museum.

View of Dakar from Gorée

Notice the very straight palm tree on left. It is made of steel and tries to hide the mobile phone antenna.

Art and laundry, Laundry and art or just Laundry Art?

We asked if we could rent a room for a week end, but they said that the house was too small (true), but how inviting!!