After getting dressed I called Ma Khady. Ma Khady is a friend's ex- mother in law who lives here in Dakar. She lives near the Renaissance statue and invited us over to mean her. Before leaving out house I recharged my phone card and we also bought apple juice, bread rolls, and other drinks. We came home and quickly ate, then ran to the street to get a taxi to visit our new friend.
She explained to our driver in Wolof where to go, but he somehow misunderstood and took us to he wrong side of the statue. Actually he was a little off all the way around and since he didn't speak French it was even harder to communicate with him. He drove like a bat out of hell and even hit a guy on a bicycle. The poor guy was ok but he could have easily been killed. Before our driver even hit him I thought "this is not somewhere I'd want to be riding a bike!" Our driver didn't even stop to check on him, but from what I could see in the rare view mirror he didn't fall off the bike and even though we pushed him in front of a bus he narrowly escaped being hit by the bus too!
No surprisingly Ma Khady's home was on a street where almost every house was still being built. He house was GORGEOUS, like the royal family lived there or something. She explained to me that she work in the embassies here and in the US. We also met her niece Aida, who was there visiting. Aida was 23 years old and wanted to join us in seeing the monument. We all agreed she could help us get around in Wolof too!
So after chatting for a while and getting a cold drink on a scorching hot day we jumped in Ma Khady's car and she dropped is off at the monument just a couple of blocks away. The monument was awesome just like I'd imagined. The sun however was brutal and the staircase was loooooong..... Dude bounced his little body up the stairs while Aida, Zane, and I struggled like we were swimming against the tide. The struggle was real and the sun was not playing. When we finally reached the top we sat on a bench in the statues shade and just threw out heads back to catch the breeze.
The view was amazing and after about 15 minutes we decided to go in the statues museum for a tour. The tour starts with the history and construction on the statue. It also talks about what inspired it. I won't give it all away for you please research the African Renaissance statue in Senegal and let me know what youve learned. The part of the inspiration was to connect with the African diaspora, so the kids were happy to also see pix of MLK, rosa parks, Malcolm X, and Obama in the museum. They didn't recognize Marcus Garvey so they will be learning about him more in the near future.
Other sections included a children's movie theater, arts exhibits, and these tall statues made of dirt. The kids were afraid at first. Dude was convinced they had real eyeballs and that was freaking him out. After a while they warmed up and started to take silly pix.