Salaam aleikum from
Speaking of Bush's visit, here's a little story that didn't get much airplay, a story of freedom American-style:
Bush was in
Anyway, it was here on Goree where Bush gave his eloquent anti-slavery speech. Slavery, he said, "was one of the greatest crimes in history.... Today we gather in respect and friendship, mindful of past wrongs and dedicated to the advancement of human liberty."
Meanwhile, Goree's 600 residents had been rounded up and removed from their homes early that morning, before Bush's plane had even set wheels in
the soccer field for 6 hours. Bush was there for barely one.
The "let'em eat cake" strategy backfired.
"It was the same - like slavery," one irate local told us.
"F__k George Bush," said another.
Ah - respect, friendship, and liberty indeed. Perhaps this is why we are hassled so hard when we walk down the street in
"Hello, my brother. Hello my sister. [handshake] How do you like
He then follows us for 20 minutes, muttering a string of Senegalese curses. So much for brotherhood.
It would be nice if we could bond with the locals over food. Alas, vegetarians are viewed with great disdain; only poor people don't eat meat. This leaves us with a style of Senegalese cuisine that is best described as "ballpark" - peanuts and beer. It is like being at a perpetual Cubs game, which really isn't such a bad thing. Groundnuts are a major crop for both
Jul 21 - 26, 2003