Our week began with a visit to the artisan village in Thies where we had a lesson on a variety of drums, including the Jembe. Our next stop was at a silversmith shop. The artist created a silver bracelet while we watched him at work.
On Thursday we journeyed to Ndem, a Muslim artisan and eco-village. We were welcomed by Moussa who took us on a tour of their artisan workshops and later we sat with him and his wife (Fatou) under a canopy. We had a delightful meal and conversation about the purpose for Ndem and the work that they are doing with the villages surrounding Ndem to promote a sense of community.
On Friday morning we visited MSAD, a very impressive workshop and gallery where very large tapestries are made with broad looms. It was created by President Senghor to promote and continue the art of weaving. We witnessed the whole creative process from the inception of the design for each piece (many are commissioned) to weaving the final product. They proudly described the large piece that hangs at the United Nations.
We left Thies on a very hot Saturday morning for David’s village that is about 15 km away. We walked in his family’s orchard, played with children, met the chef du quartier (he is over 100 years old), learned a Wolof song written by David for our group, and enjoyed wonderful meals prepared by his sister and sister-in-law. We returned on Sunday morning.