The shortest French guy (who we nicknamed Hedgehog) wanted to dance with Cora for her birthday:
We had a delicious lunch of steak and veggies, and then it was time to hit the pool! There really is nothing like a cool pool to jump into when it is over 100 degrees F and the equatorial sun (well, almost equatorial – the sun is much closer to equatorial here than in Minnesota anyway) is beating down on you. Cora, Jen, Carla, and I tried our hand at synchronized swimming (Mollie was the designated judge and photographer) – this picture is after one of our (very short) “shows”. We also had a hand-stand contest in the pool.
All five of us enjoying another glass of wine in the pool:
One of the staff members jumped in the pool for a little while to cool off, too, since we were the only ones around (all the French guys had gone off for their late afternoon hunt).
After chilling in the pool for a while – yes, I actually did get goosebumps! – we decided it was time to head back to Jen’s village since it was about a 5-6 km hike there.
Long story short, we got picked up later that evening and went back to the campement since they were having Senegalese drummers and dancers there to entertain the French guys (and us apparently!). When we got back to the campement the women were so dressed up – and we were so NOT dressed up, as is evident in the photos; it was so obvious that the five of us live in rural villages (well, except Mollie) while these women live in Dakar and Thiès when they’re not at the campement. Some of the women’s high heels even came from Italy (we had to ask because they looked so nice). Soon after the drummers got to the campement, the women pulled us into their room and told us to change into the extra wrap skirts they had because they’re much better to dance in. So all of us (including the Senegalese women, too) changed into skirts to dance in – and we got a quick dance lesson at the same time. We were continually blown away all evening at how these women could move their butts – I’ve noticed this before (ex. my host mom!), but I swear these women have way more muscles in their butts than we do, or at least they know how to use their muscles there way more than we do. Once the drumming started at least half the villagers from the nearby town came to watch. It was great! And then, to top things off, the (French) owners of the campement had the French guys put on traditional Senegalese women’s clothes and dance with the Senegalese women!
(A lot of these pictures are blurry because the settings on Cora’s camera got messed up and she didn’t realize it until later in the night - and it was dark out.)
Mollie just after getting changed: (yes that is Bob Marley on the skirt)
We’re all set to hit the dance floor!
Oh but first, we need a quick dance lesson.
Jen and I warming up:
Walking from the changing room to the dance floor (which was right next to the pool):
(No one got a picture of Cora dancing since Cora was the only one who brought a camera, but she definitely danced, too!)
A couple of the French guys in the traditional outfits, dancing and having a grand ol’ time:
They’re still dancing – and all the Senegalese people looking on were loving it!
But they loved it even more when this woman danced, because she could really move!
Cora and Hedgehog:
Jen helping Mollie untie her wrap skirt when we were all done dancing:
Whew, we’re tired, but, as Carla’s double thumbs up indicates, we sure had a great time!