Our 27 African Art Acquisitions & My Final Thoughts on the Trip…

See part 1, part 2, and part 3 in the series documenting our trip to West Africa in July…

April’s been home now for several weeks, but I’m only just now ready for this final wrap-up post about our trip. It took some time to prepare our new shelves and to set up our art, books, and movies. But now I’m ready to present our findings, most of which April acquired after I flew home from Nigeria and she continued on for a number of weeks into Togo, Benin, and finally Ghana. My post yesterday regarding Camille Paglia’s books linking ancient tribal Paganism with today’s art and popular culture are relevant to the points of this piece — the line between religious icon and art object is often in the eye of the beholder…

First, a mask from Ghana, with two sand paintings from Goree Island in Senegal. Our comedy DVD shelf sits above them:

Two heads from Benin, in between shelves of April’s art books, these also possess two Goree Island sand paintings, one on each side:

These two heads are from #Benin and sit between shelves of @aprilbey_ #art book collection.

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Continue reading “Our 27 African Art Acquisitions & My Final Thoughts on the Trip…”

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The Last Two Legs of My Africa Trip

(Click here for Part One, and here for Part Two.)

Well, I’ve been home for over a week now and between trying to get caught up on work and getting my sleep back in order (apparently jet lag can last awhile) I have not yet done the final post describing the last two countries of my part of the trip — Morocco and Nigeria. Let’s correct that now.

Day 19: Thursday, July 20 — We arrive in Morocco early in the morning (around 8) but cannot check into our hotel until the afternoon (2ish). Apart from that anticipated bump in the road the hotel was nice, among the highlights of our short stay in Casablanca.

We survived our Red Eye flight and now are enjoying breakfast in Casablanca!

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Day 20: Friday, July 21 — We take a tour of the Hassan II Mosque in the morning and then explore the markets in the afternoon.

#Casablanca #morocco

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Continue reading “The Last Two Legs of My Africa Trip”

The Adventures Of Week 2.5 In Our Africa Travels

OK everyone, as I type this it’s Wednesday, July 19, 9:40 PM, and we’re getting picked up from our hotel here in Dakar in about 45 minutes for a drive to the airport (not far away.) Our flight to Casablanca will then take off several hours later and we should arrive around 6 or 7 and make it to our hotel by 8 AM where we’ll cross our fingers that a room will be available and we can get in early before our afternoon check-in.

So as the Senegal portion of our trip comes to a close, now seems a good time to summarize our recent adventures.

Day 7: Saturday, July 8 — a Travel Day from Dakar to Fathala Wildlife Reserve

We left Dakar around 7 or 8 in the morning and the drive to Fathala was supposed to take five hours. It took a little bit longer as the route we took included a trip on a ferry across a lake. But we were very happy with our driver, Pape, who we’d hired to drive us there and pick us up on Tuesday morning.

When we arrived we encountered two ostriches filled with personality:

Ostriches are so cool. Two of them greet visitors at the gate of Fathala – their necks are so goofy. 😊

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The accommodations at Fathala are wonderful. The rooms are tents that are very modernized — wooden floors, plumbing, electricity, a small refrigerator, shower, bathtub, and toilet. We also had a porch with two West African Lazy chairs. (We so enjoyed these chairs that later in our trip we decided to acquire some.)

April felt sick for much of the trip, when we arrived she prayed that it would rain and lo and behold it did start coming down and thundering. We sat out on our porch and just took it in all around us while watching the plains before us as animals grazed. Such a peaceful way to end a day of travels.

Days 8 and 9: Sunday July 9 and Monday July 10 — Two full days at Fathala Wildlife Reserve

What Fathala is perhaps best known for is its “lion walking” attraction. That was first on our priority list on Sunday. The two lions have been trained since birth to respect the African walking stick, so each guest is issued one before entering the lion enclosure and walking with them on a set route that includes plenty of spots for picture posing:

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April & I had a blast on the lion walk!

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Here’s some video that April shot of the restaurant/lounge/reception/pool area:

I'm at @fathalareserve

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For our second day’s adventure we took a tour of the villages nearby Fathala. The highlight was a chance to see and learn about this giant tree, believed to be over a thousand years old:

#senegal #silkcottontree 1000 years old

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Here I am inside of the giant, ancient tree. 😃 #Joy of #Travel

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Continue reading “The Adventures Of Week 2.5 In Our Africa Travels”

The First Week of Our African Odyssey…

Travel DAYS: Sunday, July 2 – Tuesday, July 4

The flight from LA to Dubai went across Greenland and produced memorable views like this one:

A view of the permanent sunset at the top of the globe, from my plane ride from LA to Dubai yesterday.

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The flight on Emirates was among the best I’ve ever had. In addition to tons of new movies, TV shows, and albums, they also had some classics, so I thought it appropriate to rewatch Casablanca given that we’ll be there in a few weeks:

I picked up my first Thomas Pynchon novel on Saturday,  Inherent Vice, for the plane rides, primarily because I liked the movie and have been studying the genre (LA Detective mystery ala Raymond Chandler):

Summer travel reading: Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice. Fantastic so far. #Mystery #detective #fiction #novel

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Day 4, First Day of Exploring Dakar, Senegal, on Wednesday, July 5:

For our first stop we hit up the most noticeable monument, a controversial $28 million dollar giant statue that’s taller than the Statue of Liberty. Here’s April, excited:

Here was @aprilbey_ at the African Renaissance Monument on Wednesday. 😎

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Inside the base of the statue they have a small museum, art galleries, and meeting rooms for ambassadors and foreign dignitaries.

Why so controversial? Continue reading “The First Week of Our African Odyssey…”