Peace Care Blog

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Waterfall Relaxation

Sunday, January 23, 2011
Blog Entry by Karen Peters

This day was going to be different, more different than the other days we have been here, all of which
have been different. It was our free day, the day to get away and relax. It began with 30 minutes extra
sleep in the morming…up at 7:30ish rather than 7ish (a real treat). We also experienced a different
breakfast in a different location – a buffet of ‘get your own breakfast’ from the market in Kedougou
(not our host town (Saraya) but one we have had some experience in already (refer back to warthog
sandwich day in Kgou) – Yeah, we’ve been getting out and about in southeastern Senegal). The
difference with regard to breakfast is that we did not feast on our staple of yummy toast, jam and
Nescafe/tea at the picnic table under the woven canopy in Saraya, we were in Kgou!!! The next
difference was more of a ‘have to be there’ type experience …the ride to Kedougou in a bus, built for 8
but our ride involved 12 people, plus bags, backpacks, etc. A bus headed out of town seems to be a bit
of an event in Saraya as we had many greeters and wellwishers surrounding the bus and lots of
discussion and re-arrangement of passengers and roof top stuff and what not. Once everyone was
comfortable, ummmm, with becoming sardine-like, we were off… but wait, a stop soon followed and
one man exited and a woman joined us about 100 yards from the original departure point. Finally we
were on our way and I counted 4 other stops to load more stuff up top (the only spot available)
including some rice bags, gas cans and a blue bike with no tires from a guy standing on the side of the
road about half way along our drive. In Kedougou we stopped at the bank(s) (for some of us, the first
bank ATM did not work but for others it did, go figure) and market to pick up yummies for breakfast and
lunch and wandered our way through some back streets of K-town to the Peace Corps house. We ate
our breakfasts, everyone always gracious with offering to share the random cookie, drink or utensil and
piled into the 4×4 to take us out to Dindefelo the famous 100m waterfall about a 1.5 hour ride on the
dusty back roads. Our driver was excellent and In a great mood as he was jamming to Bob Marley, Celine
Dion etc…he drives fast and does a good job blowing the horn, especially for large herds of animals that
are occupying the road ahead…he was not happy with a large truck that would not let us pass for a bit
and apparently once we did pass, some hand gestures in the rear view mirrors were exchanged between
the 2 vehicles…He also seemed to be concerned about how Chris, Andrew and Nora’s bottoms were
faring in the bumpy back of the 4X4. We arrived first at a really crowded market and decided to press on
to the entrance to the falls – once passing the market, the 4×4 did its job on a rocknroll path road
leading to the entrance. This place has a modest resort feel to it with a bar etc and beautiful mango
trees for shady cover, We gathered our day packs and headed to the trail which took about 40 minutes
to get to the falls…PCVs describe this as an easy walk, but many in our group termed it more of a
moderate HIKE! The falls are beyond words beautiful – and the temperature a very pleasant ‘cool’ as we
sat on the rocks, gathered our thoughts, the brave ones took a dip: Nora and Melody (Melody
was the loudest)…we shared our lunch and had a brief but meaningful birthday celebration,
acknowledging the 1 year anniversary of PeaceCare as a not-for-profit organization…Andrew cut the
cake (thanks Meera) marking the occasion. After about an hour of having the place to ourselves we
were joined by another group of hiker types, many of whom thought it was shower time so we collected
ourselves and headed back to our ride…this was not without incident however, 1 stubbed toe was
suffered by Melody but she trooped on! Near the car was a small shopping booth…Here Paulette
displayed her talents at negotiation and bargaining and ending up with some nice purchases at a “sister
Price” – way to go Paulette! The ride back was without incident and a great sense of relaxation and
recharging of spirits took place during our waterfall experience …Little did we know this would be
greatly needed as we still had dinner to prepare – an American style breakfast for dinner for our
wonderful Senegalese hosts and colleagues. The menu was: pancakes, scrambled eggs, tomatoes,
apples, feta cheese, mango (sort of), jam and juice. Each team UIC team member pitched in on various
tasks – Andrew concocted the pancake batter (like for 80+ pancakes from scratch), Tracy, Melody,
Paulette and Nora took a turn at pancake flipping over 2 gas burners in the hallway and Karen
scrambled the eggs (at times in pitch darkness when the power went out for a few minutes)….In my
judgment our Senegalese colleagues either really enjoyed the western meal OR were really polite about
it as most was consumed (or maybe everyone was really hungry as it was a little after 10PM when the
final bit of pancake batter was finally put over the fire…We gained an increased appreciation for all of
the preparation and cooking our hosts have been doing to feed all of us over these weeks! This blog
entry is a short version of a very fun filled and relaxing day in Senegal. A day much different from
our ‘normal’ routine and one we will all treasure for a long time…pictures to follow!!! Good Night!!!

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