Day 8 – Loosing time / The beauty of hell

Loosing time…

a list of famous people who visited the Maison des Esclaves

There is a lot of waiting, here at the West Coast of Africa. We wait for people and in busses and taxis in the huge traffic jams of Dakar. But better forget the idea that waiting means “loosing time”. The Western concept of time efficiency does not work here and that is the first thing to learn while working and traveling here. Better “use the time” that you are sitting and hanging around to talk to each other and to the “locals” who came to Dakar from all over Africa.
Especially women are in for a chat and are curious. So go and sit next to a beautifully dressed African lady and enjoy waiting!

Waiting for the boat to Île de Gorée.

The beauty of hell

guide at Maison des Esclaves & Veerle Wenes

Île de Gorée is a tiny island of only 2,7 km2 but it has a huge history.
It is a Unesco World Heritage site also due to its slave-trading history.
Gorée has been in the hands of the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English and then of course of the French during centuries. Like every where here in West Africa women are powerful, or shall I say the “working class heroes”… In Gorée white colonists and slave women had the power in this matriarchal slave trading society of a 1000 habitants.

balcony of Maison des Esclaves

We visit the “maison des esclaves”, the only building that remains of the slavery trade to the “new World”. Strange to see that the “traders” lived above the warehouse with rather peaceful balconies and an amazing seaside view!

Veerle Wenes


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