Food and Sights in Senegal by Morgan Brown

Senegal has some of the most amazing food I have ever tasted. Upon arriving at our first hotel, for lunch I ordered fish and fries. Now in America, if you typically order fish and fries the fish is battered and fried, and you have little to no bones. In Senegal, however, the fish will usually come whole with the head, eyes, and tail. Now I won’t lie, when the plate was brought in front of me, I was shocked that I got a whole fish. Despite my initial hesitance, the fish was delicious and seasoned very well. The fries were also good, but that’s not surprising considering fries are always good. Thieboudienne is the national dish of Senegal. It typically consists of jollof rice, fish, cabbage, squash, and tomatoes all cooked in a tomato sauce. Most of the food that were options for us to eat consisted of fish since fish is a big staple of Senegalese culture. Thieboudienne is savory, and the way it was prepared for us in Saint-Louis had the fish in cubes with little bone. The food had to be one of the most exciting parts of the trip. Getting to eat food that I had never heard of and could have never imagined eating myself was just the thing I needed to get out of my comfort zone.

Dakar is the capital of Senegal and home to many monuments and museums. One of these monuments is the biggest current statue on the continent of Africa: The African Renaissance Monument. We visited the statue while we were in the capital for the first couple days of our trip. It is measured at 171 ft tall, and the project was developed in 2006 by then Senegal president Abdoulaye Wade. It depicts a man and a woman, with a child on the shoulders of the man, seeming to emerge from the ground and going up towards the sky. The statue and the child point west. The positioning of the statue was something that drew criticism upon the statue’s unveiling. The walk up the many stairs to the statue was no joke. I severely underestimated how much walking we would do on this trip, and these steps were the first hurdle I had to overcome. The view from the top was breathtaking. The city was on one side, and the Atlantic ocean was on the other side in a continuous stretch of blue.

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