|Sunrise over Africa|
These were the requirements of the Bonderman fellowship. The idea being, in part, that you're gone for a while, see some different things, get thrown out of your comfort zone and rely on yourself the whole time. So far I've been gone over six months, been to 10 different countries (China, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Morocco, Senegal and Cameroon), I've been mostly alone the whole time, and now that I've entered Cameroon, I'm into the second of my two official "major regions" (a vague concept in itself), Central Africa.
Everyone asks about my impressions of this area, so here are a few about Africa in general:
|The producer of my questionable sandwich.|
|Waiting for the local transport (kind of like Jeepneys in the Philippines)|
|neighborhood street in Dakar|
|Ouzin next to some old French cannons|
Whereas most Central Asians are imprinted with the Soviet mentality of not smiling unless it's absolutely necessary or warranted, you don't see many people beaming on the streets. In Africa, however, and especially Senegal and Cameroon so far, smiles, laughs and humor seem to be the currency that keeps life moving. Getting scammed? Joke with the scammer and he'll leave you alone! Salesman overcharging you? Give him a laugh and the price drops! It's quite refreshing, actually...
|Ouzin's uncle jammin'|
My first comment to Evan when I got off the plane in Douala and it was 80 degrees: "It's pretty hot for 5am, eh?" Very different from the frigid steppe of Central Asian in December.
|Cooling off in the tree chair in Dakar|
|Cooling off in the Atlantic Ocean|
|Near the westernmost point in Africa|
|kind of like oatmeal with yogurt, but sweeter, and eaten communally. Sugar counts as a spice|
|Making tea. They make it super strong and carmelize the tons of sugar they add to it.|
|Wade was the last president|
|He was voted out last year|
|Memorial to the end of slavery on l'Isle de Goree|
|The African Renaissance Monument in Dakar. It's taller than the Statue of Liberty.|