Today was a good day. We got up early (which isn't truly my thing but the light does make for a good photo) to make the one hour and 45 min drive to the first clinic. I'll save those images for the full story down the road, but our docs trained midwives and local docs in cervical cancer screenings in the morning then oversaw the screenings of around 75 women and treated the handful that needed it. More on this later.
But for now I'll post photos of our journey to and from the clinic and the 4 hr drive to Saint Louis from day 3. Shout out to our driver, Madeop. He's super patient and full of information if you can speak French, which Laurel (one of the docs and a friend) can.
Things I've learned so far:
-The main roads are beautifully paved.
-Not sure there are many road rules or stop signs.
-They grow a lot of peanuts and cassava.
-All the women are dressed in amazing dresses that are the most vibrant colorful and beautiful patterns I've seen.
-Goats are everywhere, even on the trucks and so are donkeys.
-I like all the different trucks I've seen from the back (long drive)
-There are 4 sacred villages in Senegal- we drove through one, Tivaouane.
-It's the end of the wet season so everything is green and humid and hot. I may be melting.
-They have solar powered street lights.
-Senegal is about 98% Muslim. Our driver, who is Muslim, said that all the people here interact with one another of different religions in a kind way. Having a different religion does not keep them from sharing a meal or a cemetery, and Senegal has never had a civil war. The most enlightening thing Madeop said on our drive was "Everyone is human. The key is to have a good heart and respect others.” This is something I wish everyone agreed with. I know I do.
And now, here is my little series I'll call , View Through My Car Window. (Click on images to see full screen)
And now I gotta go to bed. Tomorrow we have our second clinic.