History is a process of living memory, our histories die when we cease to speak them. Storytellers, communicators, teachers, healers keep our memories alive so we can carve out who we will be from what we have been. West African people understood the power of story and voice; let’s reclaim our power.
Meghan arms spread, not nearly to, the length of a cannon at Fort Nassau Walking along the streets of Dakar Cannons lining the beach at Fort Nassau on Southern Gorée Courtyard surrounded by historical mansions on Gorée, Senegal Trevor hugging the Guewel, gender neutral term, tomb Baobab at Bandia Reserve Meghan filling out document requests at the National Archives Boabob Alley on Gorée as you walk to the top of the Castel and Fort Orange Meghan reading books and travelogues in the National Archives Warthogs kneeling into the dirt surrounded by Greater Blue Eared Starlings A Baobab tree referred to as the “Elephant” at Bandia Reserve The archway entrance to the Maison Des Esclaves Statue of Liberation outside Le Maison Des Esclaves The coastline and skyline of Dakar White kitten with brown spots with their brown and white patched parent The other kitten whose multicolored striped fur is sticking up haphazard from being groomed A secluded beach on the coast of Dakar The local hospital on Gorée Island, our tour guide was born there A wide, dense Baobab tree with a painted white trunk on Gorée The Chamber of Commerce in Dakar Meghan exploring the alleyways of Gorée Island Warthogs laying down in the Savannah sun A blue and yellow West African Rainbow Agama Fort Nassau and the skyline of Dakar Meghan smiling behind them at Trevor taking their picture in an alley on Gorée A long, largely empty stretch of Popenguine Beach Beautiful buildings along the Popenguine Beach The street view of our hotel, the first white apartment building A taxi with Alhumdulilahi Rabil Alamina as a bumper sticker – which means all praise and thanks be to Allah An orange cat we nicknamed “African Spice” because they look like Spice, our Ginger American short hair The rocky coast of Dakar Happiest giraffe in the Foret de Bandia Nests high in the Baobabs in Bandia home to over 120 species of birds An image of a card in the archives card catalogs West African Nile Monitor on a tree Buffalo calf following the adults White Rhinoceros slightly tucked behind trees Rows of texts in the interior of the archives and Trevor’s ear Shackles kept on display in Le Maison Des Esclaves View down the stairs into the courtyard of Le Maison Des Esclaves Meghan beaming at Green Monkeys eating peanuts from their hand West African Nile Monitor crawling around the crocodile pond Entryway to what is erroneously called “The Door of No Return” Meghan looking back at the camera, from gazing out towards Gorée in the distance directly behind them. View from the patio of Le Maison Des Esclaves that the “Door of no Return” leads to Sideview of the government building in Dakar that the National Archives are housed in Meghan standing on the beach by a pier parallel to Fort Nassau on Gorée The patio outside the “Door of No Return” A beautiful black cat hunting birds on Gorée Inside rooms in Le Maison Des Esclaves, bars and slit windows on windows facing the ocean were often for “security.” Meghan smiling on the ferry to Gorée Port Autonome de Dakar where the ferry for Gorée docks alongside transport ships The Southern hump of Gorée, with Fort Orange at the top of the Castel The North Western tip of Gorée and port The streets in Dakar and Gorée often have roundabouts with Baobabs in the center Artist demonstrating the different naturally colored sands they use from all over West Africa to create sand paintings The artists paint glue on for the outline and add color by sprinkling the sand across the glue One of the first Catholic Churches on Gorée, St. Charles Eglise View of trees and the ocean through a doorway at Fort Orange Mémorial Gorée-Almadies at the top of Gorée’s “Castel” Meghan smiling, exhausted in front of sand paintings Remnants of Fort Orange at the Castel Canon de Navaronnes at the top of Gorée’s largest incline, the French disabled it upon surrendering Gorée An orange and brown cat’s head peeping over a ledge Local store and bakery we frequented the nearly-a-month we were in Senegal Meghan smiling with the short pier for pirogues behind them A sand painting of Le Maison Des Esclaves A large colonial mansion along Dakar’s coast A cargo ship at the Port Autonome de Dakar Pirogue and fishermen in the distance on the Atlantic Ocean Goats grazing along the street Full view of Gorée as the ferry approaches Ground view of the courtyard outside Fort Nassau Small pier parallel to Fort Nassau history museum where people dock pirogues Trevor ducking the water as it lapped at his feet History Museum – housed in the former Fort Nassau Image of the rocky coastline of Gorée and a pirogue in the distance Meghan furiously typing notes on the documents they found Greater Blue Eared Starling perched on the branch of a Baobab Large mansion’s decorate much of Gorée, jams (enslaved people) would often occupy the court yards Small homes and fields in the Thies region Savannah outside the Bandia Forest A close up of an exhausted and contented Meghan leaning against Trevor cheesily grinning The mansions are maintained as historical sites, residents are not allowed to change it and must preserve the “historic character.” Vendors are often lined throughout courtyards that segment European and Eurafrican former mansions Black cat with white patches strolling around a courtyard on Gorée Trevor gazing out the window on the way to Bandia Spotted Hyena, they are the only animals unfortunately kept in an enclosure Two zebras eating together with ostriches in the background Grumpy ostrich, ostriches and hippos are some of the most aggressive animals in Africa Perfectly lined up image of a cannon on Fort Naussa and a ship Bird of prey on a cannon, Trevor’s best guess is a Black Kite Zebra eating, their butt facing the camera Herd of Buffalo stopping other tour jeeps Gnarly trunked Baobab that would be incredible to read by A small bright green algae covered pond behind a scattering of small thin trees Another beautiful Baobab with sprawling branches Piles of books, archives are heaven, texts for days… Meghan smiling as they search through card catologues The happiest giraffe at Bandia eating Several bird’s nests in the top branches of a Baobab Giraffe grazing, their butt turned towards the camera Group of adolescent giraffes eating behind the trees Close up of an adolescent giraffe Alley leading to Popenguine Beach Vibrant pink flowers while walking to Popenguine Beach Roan Antelope laying in the shade Group of Green Monkeys exploring on the ground A group of Baobabs with bird nests Another single Roan Antelope seeking relief from the sun Green Monkeys playing in a tree and looking down at humans on tour Zebras, Great Eland Antelope, and Buffalo eating in a herd Orange flowered trees along the way to Popenguine Beach Popenguine Beach and surrounding buildings The Guewel tomb Baobab. A burial practice based on the Baobab’s reserves of water A felled Baobab tree limb Nile Crocodile pond in Bandia Nile Crocodiles swimming in their pond before they were fed Orange cat running off triumphantly with a lizard in their mouth Close up of a Green Monkey crouching in a tree Meghan contentedly looking out at the forest, a Green monkey is in the distance behind them A Green Monkey we affectionately named “Melancholy Monkey” A Green Monkey eating from Trevor’s hand Fruit vendors along the road in Thies region Street view of buildings and a billboard driving back into Dakar Door outside the National Archives Meghan half smiling looking up from reading at Trevor’s prompting for a picture Up close view of Zebra eating Frustrated Ostrich walking to the jeep A cab with a Mache A Allah bumper sticker – which means “Allah has willed it” and is used to express joy, appreciation, and awe Forest Buffalo, adult and child Great White Egret standing among the dried out branches of the savannah forest Our goat friend on Gorée who was freshly washed in the ocean by their human Giant Eland Antelopes with a calf between them A lone Giant Eland Antelope framed by bare trees Goats in the courtyard outside Fort Nassau View from the top of Fort Nassau of the courtyard bellow Inside the courtyard of one of the former mansions, many have been turned into hotels View of the pier and beach from the top of Fort Nassau The interior of Fort Nassau with a palm tree in the center Road in Bandia Reserve with Baobab in the center Meghan smiling at the camera with a bookcase of texts behind them at the National Archives A large Baobab roundabout with a white painted trunk. It features a green Africa with the words “unite Africaine” View of trees and homes down to the Southern tip of Gorée from the top of the southwestern hill A religious building on Gorée that was initially a church, it is now used as a masjid. Goats chilling and a cow grazing on Gorée’s hill A tan and striped cat stretching upwards to beg for food from another tourist A small tan and white striped kitten with brilliant blue green eyes begging Trevor for food Same kitten sitting next to Trevor unsuccessfully begging, don’t worry I caved Bay on the coast of Dakar