An Awakening From Senegal
Homeless in Senegal
During our travels throughout Senegal, I noticed that there was not a large homeless population in Guede, Saint Louis, or Dakar. Seeing this especially in Dakar surprised me; being that most metropolitan cities in the world (or so I may have thought) have large homeless populations. Seeing this also brought me back to childhood stories that my mom used to tell me of growing up in Liberia; there wasn’t really any homelessness (street living). If someone was struggling financially or had no food to eat, even if their landlord finally put them out; there was always someone being family, friend, or neighbor to take them in and/or feed them. She told me if someone one was actually homeless and living on the street, that usually meant that they had to have extreme mental health issues. With that being said, there is an unmistakable sense of community and family in Senegal that we seem to have lost or are at least lacking here in America. This is essential to the continued unification, uplifting, and thriving of a nation, if you look at the bigger picture.
African Renaissance Monument
The African Renaissance Monument (Le Monument de la Renaissance Africaine) is located in Dakar, made out of bronze, and is 49 meters tall. It was designed by Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby Atepa and built in 2010 to symbolize the rebirth of Africa. It is powerful. I mean, just the name alone exudes it.
There is an African Renaissance in the works and it’s coming your way. Your way meaning the west, which is the exact direction the child who is being held by his strong supportive father and supported by his equally strong mother (as the monument) is pointing. I think the child is the future, which starts now. I love the message behind this beautiful piece of art, it is a dream of mine for the rebirth of Africa to visualized, while I am living and I feel that the construction of this crucial monument is a first step leading in that direction.
Visiting Senegal has helped me to revisit a goal that I had, that originally brought me to the field of Nutrition and Dietetics; which was to come to Africa and work in impoverished communities and educate/implement the importance of healthy food and a balanced diet. Now, I want come back and help to rebuild, make more resilient, and sustainable communities as what we are doing in Lahel. I would like to work in the public health sector and or environmental science along with working in the holistic nutrition field, using local plants, medicines, and remedies to prevent, cure, and treat conditions and diseases.