10 June, 2016

Trip To Dakar, Senegal

I just returned from a trip to Dakar, Senegal in West Africa. It was the experience of a lifetime and I did my best to make the most of the short trip. I had taken a class at Muhlenberg College called a "MILA" course, which stands for "Muhlenberg Integrated Learning Abroad," throughout the semester and we embarked on our journey the day after my graduation. That was a quick turnaround for me, but I got everything done that I had to.


We studied Hip-Hop culture and the reason we were traveling to Senegal was to produce a music video for a local Hip-Hop artist in Dakar. Everybody I met was incredibly welcoming. And let me tell you: the most incredible thing about the country is that there are no religious tensions. As an American in our current political climate, I was amazed by this. Senegal is about 90% Muslim and some people might be surprised that I met some of the nicest people I have ever encountered in my life. But let's move on to less despressing things. I think one of the best ways to share my experience is through pictures, considering the course mainly revolved around media.


This is the national Senegalese dish of Ceebu Jen. It is rice and fish. And you eat it around the bowl with other people and with your hands.


This is delicious mango, my favorite food. You can say this made me happy.


This is an artsy photo of me in a museum. The Senegalese people have no faith in their government anymore. It's a big deal. I don't want to go into it here, but if you are interested, read about Abdoulaye Wade and Macky Sall.


This is me in front of a Mosque, with my scarf billowing in the breeze from the ocean.


Phil and I were very randomly interview by West Africa Democracy Radio. One of the workers said she was working on a segment about life after University and when she heard we were recent graduates, she wanted to interview us. I'm not sure when it will air. She is going to e-mail it to us when it does. But it was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience and I gave a shoutout to Riverview Studios for employing me! Thanks Riverview!


This is me pretending I'm on a news show of some kind.


This is me standing in the door of no return on Goree Island, where they say slaves were taken out to travel to the Americas. I say "they say" because this is not an actual door that all of the slaves were taken out of. That is not practical. It's symbolic.


This is Xuman. He's an incredible rapper. He and another rapper, Keyti, rap the news on a show called Journal Rappe. Check it out HERE.


This is me playing with the strays. There were so many kitties.


Sour Patch Kids are called Very Bad Kids in Senegal. I found this hilarious.


It was time to shoot our music video! Diegui Rails is the studio that we were working with. There were really cool people there. We were casually hanging out with famous Senegalese rappers.


This is ArOo. We shot a music video for him and it was so much fun! I don't have the music video yet, but I made a montage video of footage from throughout our trip to one of his songs. Check it out below.


ArOo said he wrote and recorded the song to show that the Senegalese people are one.


I had to.





These graffiti artisits gave us a tour of some of their work throughout the city.



All in all, I had an incredible time. It's not an experience that many people can say they have had. I shared it with some great people. And I'm very excited to see the final project of our music video when ArOo publishes it.


Keep writing, keep creating.


Post by Katrina Faust

Riverview Studios

award winning digital video production facility

located in Bordentown, New Jersey