Senegal 2010 - Day 3

Team Win! preparing for departure.

Day 3 (Good Friday) saw us make the 5 hour road journey north to the Mauritanian border and the Senegalese town of Richard-Toll, reputedly the hottest of all the Brothers communities anywhere in the world! (Didn't realise that till we got here! Oh well, never mind.) Our own "Way of the cross" in searing (but dry, therefore manageable) heat (38-39C).

Bro. Francis with our hosts for the past couple of days, Frère Joseph + Frère Jacques.

The journey was made much more comfortable compared to some of those we endured in Togo in 2007 by the fact that our transport was a fairly recent Ford Transit, hired (+ driver) for us by the Thiès Brothers. All the big bags were tied onto a roof rack addition to the standard Transit.

During the drive we had our first 2 cases of the trots or squirts or {add your own personal favourite term here}. Alex + Charlie ("Chippy") were the chosen 2. They bore their suffering with great fortitude and no complaining! They will undoubtedly be the first of many.

Former French colonial capital of the whole of West Africa, St-Louis.

Our journey was split into 2 halves by a lunchtime visit of St-Louis on the N.W. coast of Senegal. Our guide was to be the Head Teacher of the primary school in Richard-Toll and our host for the bulk of our stay in Senegal: an old friend of mine, Frère Jean-Yves Mingant, whom I got to know through frequent visits to his former community at Landerneau (Finistère, Brittany) from 1992 onwards. A confrère of his was a regular hiking + cycling companion of mine and through him I got to know Jean-Yves who then a couple of years later came to my former community in Liverpool for a few weeks to improve his English and then came back for the celebration of my final vows in 1996.

Fr. Jean-Yves with Bro. Francis on St-Louis beach.

Lunch in a local eaterie: curried rice + fried fish + veg,
Frère Jean-Yves in comedy pose trying to get out of the way!

Jacob loves chillies... but even he struggled with the ones on offer here!

North-east of St-Louis, the terrain gradually becomes drier and dustier...

... becoming, at times, almost desert-like. But as we neared Richard-Toll and the Senegal River estuary, the road became lined with irrigation projects producing varied crops: tomatoes, rice, onions, etc...

Frère Jean-Yves confirmed that the desert is indeed encroaching and spreading into sub-Saharan Africa. Whether or not this climate change is man-induced, it is very real for the people living here and has been happening for at least 30 years.

Upon arriving early evening at Richard-Toll, the group decided it would like to make contact with the local youngsters straight away and so went out for a thoroughly enjoyable game of football.

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