so i am finally here in kedougou (for the agroforestry summit) after a 16 hour al-hum ride from kaolack to the other side of the country. it was a bit of a brutal trip. 16 hours in a car -- even a comfortable car -- would be unbearable and this was a senegalese al-hum and we were squished shoulder to shoulder, sitting on hard metal benches with minimal padding, and little air ventilation. the car stank of sweat. the first al-hum we took, i had the middle seat, meaning that i didn't have a back of the seat to lean on but people started getting off and chris and i were able to jack a really good seat at the front of the car and get really comfortable. but then the car ran out of motivation -- meaning it got its 2nd flat tire and they felt that the car was too empty to justify its running -- so they squeezed us all into a smaller al-hum so once again we were all on top of each other in a car that's windows wouldn't open. for a while i became convinced that this place didn't exist because the road just never seemed to end. moreover, the road is littered with potholes. chris suggested that we had died and this was hell and we would just keep on going down this awful road crammed in this awful car forever. it was quite possibly true.
basic observations i've made about kedougou:
1. the huts are round! i wonder how it is to live in a round hut.
2. everybody has bikes and there are barely any horses or donkeys.
3. they have really tiny goats here.
4. not to sound very wolof, but it is weird being somewhere where wolof is not the major language. i don't understand the convserations going on around me and i feel guilty having to assume that everybody understands wolof but its the only local language i know and god knows i can't speak in french to get my point across.
after we got to the kedougou house, we headed out to this placed called the relais where there is a beautiful panoramic view of teh gambian river and gardens and we ate warthog sandwiches and had breakfast beers and then swam in the pool as a substitute for showers (we were absolutely filthy from the ride!) so that we refreshing. since then we've just been bumming around. considering that i don't like pork, i was surprised to enjoy the warthog sandwiches so much. but then again, after 16 hours in an al-hum, anything tastes wonderful, so maybe my judgment is off.