Weekly Photo Challenge: Rounded

This week’s theme is my lame excuse to present a few pictures from our visit to West Africa many years ago.

The round hut below belonged to an elder in a village in Guinea.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is an outdoor marketplace in Guinea where the goods are protected from the sun by the round umbrellas.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we rounded a corner on the road during one of our many outings in Guinea, we came upon this village with many round buildings.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe fishing boats used by the fishermen along the coast of Senegal seemed to have somewhat rounded (rather than flat) bottoms.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Faidherbe bridge over the Senegal river in Saint-Louis connects two different parts of the city, one on the mainland and the other on an island on the Senegal river.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a piece of art (temporary, it would seem) created out of colored sand in one of the shops on Goree Island just outside of Dakar.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought the shell on this turtle that we saw at a wildlife sanctuary that we visited in Senegal was well rounded.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Memories of a Road Taken

I am not sure that this blog fits properly into the week’s photo challenge since the description of the challenge also includes the concept of experiencing something surprising on the road.  I suppose that seeing things for the first time in far-away places that you are very not familiar with very often presents you with the unexpected and includes the element of surprise. So, hopefully, these pictures are not too far off the mark in addressing the theme in spite of my hesitation….

This is a nostalgic trip down memory lane with reminders of a visit that we made to West Africa many years ago.  During the course of that trip we made a road trip from Dalaba, Guinea, to St. Louis , Senegal, and back, with a stop along the way in Dakar.  Everything we experienced was new to us!

Even though the roads that we initially traveled on during this trip were paved, the travel experience was more suited for the adventurous because of the state of these roads and the nature of the driving.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAComing out of Labe in Guinea and on our way to Tambacounda in Senegal we found ourselves on a dirt road that stretched into the distance.  In fact the dirt road runs for over a hundred miles.  The fact that a main road connecting two countries was actually a dirt surface was astounding!   But life is tough for the people of Guinea even today.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe finally got on to a paved road closer to the border with Senegal.  (The construction of this road was funded by the Chinese government.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe highways in Senegal were for the most part in good shape.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis thunderstorm in the distance looked quite ominous.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey had some good local roads.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe encountered some older forms of travelOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand some strange advertising.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVehicles were overcrowded with people taking up every inch of space both inside and outside the vehicle.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe extent to which the vehicles were overloaded was amazing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe encountered crowded roads in the cities and towns.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe finally headed back to GuineaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand back to the dirt roads leading to Labe.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeople live simple and very often happy lives in places like this in spite of the absence of modern development.  They tackle problems on a day to day basis and let the future take care of itself.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

I thought I would present some pictures from our trip to Africa in 2012 that fit into the theme for the week.

This was the view from the room where our daughter, then a Peace Corp Volunteer, lived for two years.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The town of Dalaba in Guinea where she served used to be administrative center for the country.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis goat, looking pregnant, seems to be guarding this particular property in town.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next couple of pictures are from the mosque in Touba, Senegal.

The following pictures are from Goree Island in Senegal.  This was one of the ports of departure for slaves being sent to the Americas.




The first two pictures in the Goree series are of rooms where slaves were housed before being shipped off. The third picture is of the Door of No Return in The House of Slaves, through which the slaves were forced on to the ships bound for the American continent.   The fourth picture shows a destroyed section of the fort at Goree that used to house a cannon. Goree Island can be reached by boat from Dakar, the capital of the country.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape

When I think about landscapes,  I think about the drama of the wide open spaces of Nature. My hope is to be able to capture this in pictures.  I also hope to be able to show the sometimes spectacular interaction between the skies and the earth.  I think of wide-angle shots and of panoramic viewing.   Here are some examples.

Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga), New Zealand.

Uluru, in the Australian Outback.

Kata Tjuta, in the Australian Outback.

In Senegal, not far from Dakar.

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.

The pictures above are probably best viewed when clicked-through.  Other submissions for the challenge can be seen here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gatherings

One is tempted to submit a picture or two of a family gathering in honor of the holiday season for this challenge, but I will stick  with a different and perhaps more conventional interpretation of the theme.

These pictures are from our visit to La Langue de Barbarie near St. Louis in Senegal.

Here is a colony of seagulls.

Here is a flight of cormorants.

Finally, here is a squadron of pelicans.

I submit that these pictures of gatherings of birds fits the theme for the week.