We continue to learn new things about this amazing country. We began the week with lectures on the colonial history of the country and the development of a movement that attempted to counter the colonial narrative. The concept of Negritude was developed by writers from the Caribbean, South America and Senegal. There were many influences that came from the African diaspora. The first president of newly independent Senegal (Leopold Senghor) was one of the leading intellectuals of the movement.
On Thursday we began our conversation about the religions of Senegal. A priest from the Catholic tradition spoke to the group about the dialogue between Christians and Muslims. On Friday we traveled to a Benedictine Monastery that was founded in 1963 by French monks and now consists primarily of African Brothers. Frere Jean Paul led us on a walk through their fruit orchards, took us into the Kora (traditional stringed instrument) shop and finally led us to the chapel for a mid-day Mass. In the afternoon we feasted on Yassa in an open air area. The extended wait for food gave us an opportunity to be creative and wonder the grounds. A new game with rocks and glasses was invented. Naomi continues to teach her peers how to whistle through their index fingers.
Our day ended with a trip to Lac Rose, or the pink lake. Unfortunately the sun and other elements of the weather were not conducive to creating the bright pink color that is usually found in the lake. We did visit the area where salt is taken from the lake bottom.