Tag Archives: senegal

People in Kolda, Senegal

15 Nov

Maya's Tailor- Ibrahima Fati in Kolda, Senegal © Erin Lau, 2011

We visited Maya’s tailor, whose name is Ibrahima Fati, while in Kolda. Earlier, we had bought some bright green & blue patterned Senegalese fabric. We brought it to Ibu to sew an outfit that would be a gift for a small child. He had a wonderful old sewing machine with a foot pump, and he worked outside under the overhang of a building alongside the marketplace. Maya has had several full, traditional Senegalese outfits made by Ibu, only a couple of which she has kept. He was a wonderfully friendly and gracious man, and he let me sketch him and his tailor friend. In the same spot, I sketched a woman named Binta Barry, below. We did not know her, but she let me draw her, though she became somewhat self-conscious. She was wearing a beautiful dark blue top and skirt, with matching headdress. I wish I had had time to draw the pattern on the fabric.

Binta Barry, in Kolda, Senegal © Erin Lau, 2011


Balde House, Kolda, Senegal

14 Nov

Balde House, Kolda, Senegal © Erin Lau, 2011

For her two years in Peace Corps, Maya stayed with a host family in their compound, in the town of Kolda. Kolda is a medium sized town of a little over 20,000 residents, located in the southern part of Senegal, known as the Casamance. We stayed with her large family, whose last name is Balde, for about four days, eating meals with them, and hanging out around town. In the drawing you can see one of the main huts and the kitchen, along with a grouping of lush ornamental plants her host father and brother tend to. Maya had her own little cinder block hut and latrine, sheltered by a mango tree, that was out of view of this drawing. Living at their home was my favorite part of our Senegal trip.

Casamance River, Kolda, Senegal

13 Nov

Casamance River, Kolda, Senegal © Erin Lau, 2011

Maya and I biked several kilometers to a campement (rustic guesthouse), just outside the town of Kolda where she was based during Peace Corps. We wanted to go there to see the monkeys that come to drink at the river. The river was warm, and brown, like chocolate milk, and the monkeys were on their own schedule. After about 45 minutes, we did start to see some rustling in the trees from afar. Then some leaping figures. Big red monkeys were jumping from branch to branch, and a group of whitish/brown smaller monkeys were ambling along the bank. They were all fairly distant, so it was not really possible to draw them. It was hot, and muggy, and we soon biked home to take a bucket shower.

Traveling again 2011! Ziguinchor, Senegal

12 Nov

Boats along Casamance River in Ziguinchor, Senegal © Erin Lau 2011

I’m back on the road with my sketchbook, this time traveling with my sister in West Africa, specifically Senegal and Mali. My sister, Maya, has been living in Senegal for the past two years, working as a Peace Corps volunteer. She just finished her tour, and we decided to travel together. She showed me the places she knows in Senegal, including the town that she was based in. Then we traveled overland to Mali, a new place for both of us.

These are drawings I made several days into our journey, once we landed in Ziguinchor, Senegal. We had taken an overnight boat from Dakar, the capital, down along the Atlantic coast, entering the Casamance river delta and floating upstream on the Casamance river. Ziguinchor is a smallish fishing town, with a couple main streets and a couple main attractions. We only had one day, so we watched the coming and going of villagers along the river bank and took a small boat ride around the mangroves the flank the opposite bank. While on the boat ride, we saw many dolphins feeding and jumping all around us, as well as a variety of birds. There was even a large, half sunken ship, that had reportedly tried to get down the river with Liberian (?) immigrants until it was gunned down by police. In these drawings, there is an approaching thunder and lightning storm, and crewmen are preparing the boats for passengers to other villages along the river.

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