15 September 2007

Time for an update!

I am presently in Grand Bassam, the old colonial capital of Cote d'Ivoire. I really should have attempted the occasional update while travelling, but the computers aren't always reliable, and I am often lazy.

Anyway; I shall move chronologically and gradually post descriptions of my travels:

circa July 27, 2007

Yesterday we had a nice visit to the Salls in Nord Foire (sp? it's on the outskirts of Dakar). The mother Fatou is a sister of my host father in Njau (Chebo), so I have stayed with them on past visits to Dakar. I was here with Jon, who had just arrived a couple of mornings ago (and, as luck would have it, his luggage arrived early the next morning.

Elhaas's wife Astou cooked a delicious chicken yassa, and I got to say goodbye to the Salls, we watched Senegalese TV/Brazilian soap operas, and I again got grief for not marrying Sohna, their cute cousin who dropped in.

Mot Lamin's coworker Jack, from (PR) China; had some interesting geopolitical news from The Gambia for me -- President Jammeh has announced that should China invade Taiwan, he is ready to send 1,000 soldiers to Taiwan's aid. Gambia, you may recall, is one of Taiwan's allies/client states in its quest for international recognition, along with Nauru, Vanuatu and others.

Senegal recently switched allegiances to China (well, in 2005). Around that time, in September '05, they had a falling-out with Gambia after the Gambians doubled the fares for their ferries. So the Senegalese government imposed a blockade of sorts, requiring all trucks going between Dakar and Casamance to drive around The Gambia. At the time, Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade proposed the following solutions:

1) build bridges (the river's not very wide),
2) let Senegal control ferries of their own, or
3) dig a tunnel running under The Gambia since it's so small.

The matter was resolved a few weeks later, when Gambia sheepishly returned ferry prices to their pre-blockade rates.

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