June 2, 2010

Monastery, Lac Rose, Orphanage, and the Beach

This past Sunday we took a field trip that combined a variety of stops.  We began our day at Keur Moussa, a Catholic monastery, where we caught the end of the morning mass that uses traditional harp-like instruments, called “kora,” in the service.

The chapel is also decorated with African motifs. Afterwards we were given a tour of their extensive orchards, gardens, livestock areas, and a workshop where they make modern versions of kora.

Next we stopped briefly at Lac Rose (Pink Lake) and observed the harvesting of salt from the lake bed. This operation has been going on for centuries and continues today much the same as it has in the past. This is one of several locations in Sénégal where salt is harvested both for domestic use and also for export.

Our next stop was for lunch on the rooftop of a Christian retreat center.  Jean Jacques, the director of the center, told us about the adjoining orphanage and poultry operation that helps to support their mission.  Two of our students will be doing their service at this location.

Our final destination was a nearby beach where we could all relax and unwind. It was a great way to end the day before returning to Thiès.

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