Senegal 2010 - Day 2

A big thank you to those who've sent us messages of encouragement. They have been much appreciated by the lads concerned.

On day 2 we visited a Benedictine monastery out in the Senegalese bush that is world-renowned for the way it has successfully fused traditional monastic (Gregorian) chant with traditional African music. Our guide was one of the 2 remaining French monks who came over from the French monastery of Solemnes in 1963 : Père Catta.

On our way to Keur Moussa monastery.

Now aged 83, Père Catta, a trained musician, carried out extensive research on the local music upon arriving in Senegal and was instrumental (excuse the pun !) in creating the music that the monks sing in their prayer, as well as being the prime mover in the development of a traditional African harp, the Kora, as a liturgical and concert instrument, both in Senegal and around the world. It was fascinating to listen to him talk about what has obviously been a passion of his for many years. Now there are a number of young Senegalese monks (amongst the 50 attached to the monastery) who play the Kora in the monastery, all trained by Père Catta.

Père Catta giving us a demonstration of the Kora.

The chapel of the monastery at Keur Moussa.

Lunch at a local restaurant, basically a little shack on the corner of the road. VERY tasty curried rice cooked in peanut butter oil, with fried fish.

Transporting goods African-style.

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