Saint-Louis, Senegal by Morgan Brown

Saint-Louis, Senegal was our 2nd main stopping point during the Senegal study abroad. Similar to Charleston, it is a coastal city that has many colonial architecture and statues still there. Fish and fishing are important to Senegal’s culture and economy. While in Saint-Louis, our excursions through the city were always filled with the sights of huge fishing boats. These boats ranged in size from small to big, and each had its unique design on them. During a boating ride, we were able to see many fishermen going off to the usual fishing spots to try and capture enough fish. What many may not know, however, is these fishermen have been struggling to get enough fish and have had to resort to finding new areas to fish. China has a strong influence in many African countries due to its grants and construction in various countries. Senegal is no stranger to this as we saw many buildings in Saint-Louis and elsewhere that were being constructed with the help of the Chinese government. In exchange for this help, China has depleted the fisheries which have caused, as previously mentioned, fishermen to go elsewhere to find fish. Seeing what I’ve been taught in various African studies courses in real life was pretty interesting.

Classes during the duration of the program were usually done together, and each class would focus on a different topic or theory. The way that both of the classes were set up was what we would experience either in class or out and about, directly correlated with each other. For example, our history class had a reading assigned to us that focused on Goree Island, a historical island we visited, and the possible fabricated stories that the guides tell. We read the reading the day before and talked and discussed during class after our visit. My academic experience while abroad differed greatly, but it also helped me understand the concepts and theories that were taught in class when I saw it around me in Senegal.

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