Sunday, September 25, 2016

Goree, my dear

Recently my sister in law had the genius idea to take the kids and me to Goree Island. Truth be told she had been planning this trip for years now but there was always something that came up last minute preventing us from going. 

But this time, we were determined to go. And so we did. We bought food fit for kings and took her car. We arrived at the port which was packed. It is Summer so obviously everybody will go to the beach. We were lucky to get tickets and rode the boat to the Island. Upon arrival, we rented a mat and parasol. I was in bagages duty while the kids bathe with their aunt. I took this time to do people watching. I also checked this island that I called home for seven years. In fact, I went to boarding school in Goree island. I did all my middle and high school in a school reserved for the best girls of the entire nation at the end of the elementary cycle. I had the best of time there. I met wonderful people there from teachers to classmates. Now, you know why this place hold a special place in my heart. I could not wait to go back and visit it. 

But first I just enjoyed being back. I looked around and not much has changed. Sure, new restaurants popped up here and there but overall the island kept its charm. And for good reason: Goree is a UNESCO world heritage which means that it should be kept as it is. The houses were old with their colonial architechture and vibrant paints. They were all covered with bougainvilliers, my favorite flower. The beach was calm with myriads of people enjoying it. It is a special beach because it does not have waves, and it is not too deep. For this reason, even young kids can enjoy it without fear of drowning. 

I had to notice all these teenagers decked in bikinis and short shorts with wide brim hats and huge sunglasses. They were "vacancies" or people on vacation either from the city or abroad. They all had smartphones and were taking countless of selfies either inside the sea or on the beach, making faces that would make any Kardashian proud. I could not help but compared them to the kids of my generation. We knew how to have fun,  but we were never so outragously bold. I guess time has changed. 

After the time spent at the beach, we took a stroll around the island. We went to all the spots that make the Island great: the huge football field were countless of videos were shot, the Castel with its artist crowd, the small roads with little stones houses and vibrant doors. It was all so charming. But the highlight of our stroll was visiting my former school. 


View of Goree from the boat




The view from our parasol


I just put my feet in


A colorful traditional fishing boat with the Juventus soccer team logo


A nice house


Bougainvilliers everywhere



Dyed clothes at Castel



Stone wall

Since it was Summer, there were no classes. Therefore we had free access. I checked almost everywhere except the dormitories. The school had also stayed the same. I even visited the last classroom I was in while the kids ran around the huge playgroung. It was good that I could show them where I went to school. But the visit also broke my heart. The school is in a poor shape with decaying material, walls and fences in ruin. I almost teared up. Such a school could not be left in such a state. It is absolutely ridiculous. The government should take better care of it particulalry for the reason that every year, the students have the best results in the entire country.


My boys chasing a wild cat at the entrance of the school


This Gulmohar tree (Delonix regia) is beautiful in Spring with orange flowers. I had numerous private conversation with my friends underneath it. 


If these steps could talk, oh the stories they would tell!


I played all kind of games in this field. 


My last classroom. I used to sit on the second bench in the middle row.


Selfie time


Kids playing frizbee with their aunt in my school playground



We host parties in this lawn. 

After the visit, we rushed back to the port because it was time to go back to the city. But we saw the famous Slave House (Maison des esclaves) Museum on our way. I promised the kids to do it next time we come to the Island. It is important for them to know about this part of our history. 


A wooden door house


The entrance to the Slaves House



Some special Senegalese art called "Sous Verre" on display. It is made by coloring directly on the glass in the frame. 

This visit was just perfect. It was a perfectly sunny day, I had the perfect company and I had the perfect experience. I just wished the Hubby could be there to share it with us. Hopefully, next time we go, he will accompagny us.

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