yewwu: to wake up
On the second day of spring break, we awake in the early dawn as the light sneaks through the windows into the cabin of the Diambogne, the ferry from Dakar to Ziginchor. Silently, we step out past the rows of sleeping people, sleeping in the chairs, on the floor.
Outside on the deck, the wind is fierce, blowing strong and gusty and shaking the Senegalese flag on the bridge of the ship. We have left the lights and noise of Dakar behind long ago, even left behind the emptiness of the open sea. Wrapped in fleece blankets to guard against the cold, we gain our bearings and find ourselves in a whole new world.
On either side of us, long coastlines thick with lush vegetation, speckled with palm trees. The rose gold of sunrise bleeds across the horizon, casting pink and purple light across the water. Clouds like a herd of sheep form broken fragments across the sky, fading into a deep blue at the corners like a memory of the night. The Diambogne has taken us south all the way down Senegal’s coastline, past the Gambia, and re-entered Senegal through the Casamance River, which is what we see before us now.
As we watch the morning creep its way across the sky, as we watch little villages appear out of the jungle, I cannot help but think that this is a great adventure, like something out of a book!