A Dakar, Senegal, West Africa Trip It’s   a   long   way   to   West Africa   from   Dayton,   Ohio,   in   miles   and   culture.   We   stayed   in   one   of   the few   high-rise   hotels   in   the   city,   just   a   few   blocks   from   the   open   market   in   one   direction   and   a few blocks from the silver market in another. In   our   first   foray   onto   the   city’s   streets,   Randy   Losey   and   I   were   besieged   by   a   group   of   about six   or   seven   adolescent   boys,   one   of   which   tried   to   reach   into   Randy’s   right   front   pocket   to   take his   wallet.   We   had   been   warned   to   be   very   cautious   about   our   personal   items,   to   put   them   in places   not   easily   accessible   to   pickpockets.   It   was   pretty   funny   really.   Randy   had   his   hand   in that   same   pocket   and   he   just   pushed   his   wrist   outward,   against   the   boy’s   wrist,   and   the   boy could   not   get   away.   The   boys   caused   quite   a   scene   to   be   sure   until   a   local   adult   man   came   up and   scolded   the   boys   for   trying   to   steal.   They   apologized   to   Randy   and   went   away.   The   man also   made   an   apology   to   us   and   explained   a   bit   about   what   goes   on   in   this   city   for   families   and kids in particular. Many   other   young   men,   probably   between   ages   fourteen   and   twenty   came   up   to   us   with bracelets   and   necklaces   on   their   arms.   They   would   come   up   to   us   in   ones   and   twos,   gauging   if we   were   American   or   European,   and   begin   speaking   to   us   in   English,   French,   or   German, saying   “My   friend,   my   friend,   welcome!   I   have   a   gift   for   you.”   and   extend   a   hand   to   you.   If   you took   their   hand   to   shake,   they   would   expertly   flip   a   bracelet   or   necklace   onto   your   wrist. As   you looked   at   it,   they   would   begin   to   tell   you   of   a   relative   who   had   gone   to   a   US   city   and   how   much they   had   enjoyed   the   trip,   etc.   Then,   you   would   thank   them   for   the   gift   and   then   came   the   pitch for   money,   not   to   pay   for   the   “gift”   but   to   help   fund   a   trip   or   some   other   venture   they   were supporting.   The   rule   was,   “If   we   give   you   a   gift,   then   it   is   appropriate   for   you   to   give   us   a   gift, preferably   paper   money.”   It   doesn’t   take   too   many   of   those   encounters   to   learn   how   to   become oblivious   to   the   vendors   around   you.   Once   away   from   the   hotel   a   few   blocks,   the   streets became more like any town or city, just people going from here to there. There   were   no   pubic   washroom   facilities   in   the   city.   There   were   walls,   gutters,   a   few   trees   and such,   but   no   public   restrooms.   This   became   painfully   and   embarrassingly   clear   on   an   early morning   walk   Randy   and   I   took   to   see   the   ocean   on   the   west   side   of   town.   We   left   the   hotel before   sunrise   to   avoid   all   the   vendors   and   made   our   way   about   a   mile   or   so   to   the   Atlantic Ocean.   The   streets   were   quiet   with   just   a   few   trades   people   making   there   way   along   with   carts or   tools   to   shops   or   storefronts.   When   we   approached   the   beach   we   were   impressed   by   the size   and   numbers   of   black-rock   boulders   lying   in   jumbles   from   the   street   down   the   30%   slope about   30   to   40   feet   to   the   beach.   We   found   a   steep   pathway   among   the   4   to   8   foot   in   diameter boulders and began the decent to the seemingly deserted beach. With   the   first   few   steps   we   became   painfully   aware   we   need   to   be   mindful   of   just   where   we were    stepping.    The    rock    boulders    were    not    the    only    “obstacles”    on    the    slope.    My    heart saddened   to   know   that   not   only   were   we   “in”   the   public   bathroom,   it   was   in   full   use   by   many others,   who   were   considerably   distressed   at   our   presence.   We   didn’t   continue   our   journey   to the   ocean   but   opted   to   respect   the   local   culture   and   conditions   and   leave   quietly,   unobtrusively back up the incline. By   then   the   sun   was   up   and   as   we   made   our   way   along   the   streets   we   came   upon   a   man   with   a cart   -   full   of   fresh,   warm,   handmade   French   bread   loaves. The   aroma   of   those   eight   inch,   crusty, hand-crafted   loaves   was   better   than   any   perfume   invented   by   mankind.   It   was   one   of   those once-in-a-lifetime   experiences   that   only   being   there   can   ever   make   it   real   to   your   mind.   The setting was perfect. I’m   not   sure   what   the   ARIA   mission   was   while   we   were   there,   perhaps   Trident   testing.   If pressed,   I’m   not   sure   I   could   tell   you   the   route   taken   to   Dakar,   but   it   was   likely   through Ascension Island. We spent about five days in Senegal I think. On   one   of   those   days   I   made   my   way   to   the   open   market.   I   was   told   I   could   find   some   bargains there   and   to   never   give   the   asking   price   –   always   haggle   it   down.   What   a   culture   shock   for   this northern   Michigan   farm   boy,   but   I   was   so   glad   to   be   there.   I   wanted   to   soak   it   all   in.   I   walked among   the   fish   tables,   blood   and   guts   on   the   floor,   flies   in   the   air,   and   a   smell   like   no   other.   The hog   pens   I   had   cleaned   as   a   kid   couldn’t   hold   a   candle   to   this   aroma.   But,   it   was   real,   it   was   life for these people. They had no choice, that is, those with money had no choice. I   remember   buying   two   long   shirts,   embroidered   from   the   neck   to   the   waist   with   intricate   needle work,   for   $20   each.   I   probably   could   have   gotten   them   both   for   $10,   but   I   didn’t.   I   still   have   those two items, however mine is a little tight these days. One   evening,   Randy,   I,   and   Robin   Wheaton   made   our   way   through   the   city   to   the   US   Embassy. Two   things   stand   out   about   that   walk.   The   first   happened   on   the   way   there.   In   Dakar,   as   in many   of   the   cities   we   visited   while   on   ARIA   mission,   homeowners   often   fence   in   their   homes with   concrete,   stone,   or   some   other   type   of   masonry   wall,   sometimes   eight   or   more   feet   high, complete   with   metal   spikes,   shards   of   broken   glass   set   in   mortar,   or   some   type   of   barbed   or bladed   wire.   Some   had   more   than   one   type   of   deterrent.   Locked   metal   gates   barred   the   way   to the   walk   or   driveways.   Many   are   protected   additionally   by   dogs.   We   didn’t   know   this   final   detail as   we   went   walking   along   the   street.   We   were   typical   GI’s   walking   along,   three   abreast,   talking and   joking,   just   being   tourists.   Randy   was   walking   next   to   the   wall.   I   was   on   the   street   side. Both   of   us   were   of   fair   stature.   Robin   in   the   middle,   a   bit   smaller.   As   we   were   about   half   way over   the   drive   of   this   one   home,   at   least   two   very   loudly   barking   and   vicious   sounding   dogs came   lunging   at   the   gate.   Randy   made   a   good   choice   to   move   quickly   to   his   left,   away   from   the dogs.   I   on   the   other   hand   seemed   frozen   in   my   tracks.   Robin,   in   the   middle,   was   nearly squished.   When   we   could   breath   again,   we   laughed   at   what   had   happened   and   how   scared   we were. It must have been a pretty funny scene to have seen. The   second   memorable   thing   was   what   we   came   across   just   outside   the   embassy   gates. Between   the   curb   and   the   sidewalk   was   just   sand,   no   grass. There   in   that   between   space   was   a man   sleeping,   a   local.   He   was   on   a   grass   mat   and   there   was   another   grass   mat   rolled   out beside   him.   On   it,   perhaps   all   of   his   worldly   possessions,   a   pipe,   some   chew   sticks   (wood stems   from   a   plant   with   mild   narcotic   like   action   we   were   told   later),   a   necklace   and   a   few   other items,   perhaps   a   small   wooden   box   included. This   is   one   of   the   reasons   I   walked   the   towns   and cities we visited, to see what was real for them. Another   stark   reality   of   the   city   was   cripples   and   beggars.   We   saw   several   men   on   platforms   of wood,   perhaps   14   to   16   inches   square,   mounted   with   metal   caster   type   wheels   underneath. The men,   some   with   truncated   legs,   some   with   no   legs,   made   their   way   around   using   the   backs   of their   hands,   their   fists   as   it   were,   to   press   against   the   pavement   or   earth   and   use   their   arms   to propel   themselves   along.   Some   of   them   begged.   They   had   no   other   form   of   support.   Near   the hotel,   on   the   other   side   of   the   street   was   a   blind   lady.   She   sat   on   the   sidewalk,   her   legs   out toward   the   street,   her   back   against   the   wall,   two   small   children   crawling   over   her,   playing around    her.    Her    cup    for    alms    sat    at    her    side.    Her    eyelids    were    matted    shut.    Flies    were everywhere,   on   her,   on   the   children.   There   is   no   way   to   walk   away   from   those   sights   without being forever affected. ARIA was my portal to much of the reality of the rest of the world. Poverty,   ignorance,   disease.   We   are   all   brothers   and   sisters.   I   need   to   do   my   part   in   helping   to overcome these maladies. There   was   more   to   the   trip,   like   a   visit   to   the   silver   market   where   one   of   our   crew   traded   a   nice pair   of   pilot   type   sunglasses   for   a   fair   amount   of   worked   silver.   I   didn’t   buy   any   silver   jewelry, even   though   it   was   intricately   fashioned   and   pretty.   It   looked   too   much   like   the   solder   in   my   tool kit   back   at   WPAFB   to   get   too   excited.   However,   I   did   buy   a   hand   fashioned   walking   cane   which   I was   assured   was   crafted   from   difficult   to   work   and   expensive   ebony   wood.   I   didn’t   want   to believe   what   some   of   the   crew   said   about   it   being   mahogany   rubbed   well   with   lamp   black and/or   black   shoe   polish.   Later,   when   my   young   son   broke   the   cane   while   playing   with   it   at home, mahogany it was to be sure. Oh well, the twenty bucks was well spent anyway. Would   I   ever   go   back   to   Dakar?   Yes,   if   there   was   a   way   to   help   alleviate   some   of   the   ignorance and poverty and to again taste those French loaves. Neil A. Hendricks HF Operator ARIA 60-0374
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A Dakar, Senegal, West Africa Trip It’s   a   long   way   to   West   Africa   from   Dayton,   Ohio,   in miles   and   culture.   We   stayed   in   one   of   the   few   high- rise   hotels   in   the   city,   just   a   few   blocks   from   the   open market    in    one    direction    and    a    few    blocks    from    the silver market in another. In   our   first   foray   onto   the   city’s   streets,   Randy   Losey and   I   were   besieged   by   a   group   of   about   six   or   seven adolescent    boys,    one    of    which    tried    to    reach    into Randy’s   right   front   pocket   to   take   his   wallet.   We   had been   warned   to   be   very   cautious   about   our   personal items,   to   put   them   in   places   not   easily   accessible   to pickpockets.   It   was   pretty   funny   really.   Randy   had   his hand   in   that   same   pocket   and   he   just   pushed   his   wrist outward,   against   the   boy’s   wrist,   and   the   boy   could   not get   away.   The   boys   caused   quite   a   scene   to   be   sure until   a   local   adult   man   came   up   and   scolded   the   boys for   trying   to   steal.   They   apologized   to   Randy   and   went away.    The    man    also    made    an    apology    to    us    and explained   a   bit   about   what   goes   on   in   this   city   for families and kids in particular. Many    other    young    men,    probably    between    ages fourteen   and   twenty   came   up   to   us   with   bracelets   and necklaces   on   their   arms.   They   would   come   up   to   us   in ones    and    twos,    gauging    if    we    were    American    or European,    and    begin    speaking    to    us    in    English, French,    or    German,    saying    “My    friend,    my    friend, welcome!   I   have   a   gift   for   you.”   and   extend   a   hand   to you.    If    you    took    their    hand    to    shake,    they    would expertly   flip   a   bracelet   or   necklace   onto   your   wrist.   As you   looked   at   it,   they   would   begin   to   tell   you   of   a relative   who   had   gone   to   a   US   city   and   how   much   they had   enjoyed   the   trip,   etc.   Then,   you   would   thank   them for   the   gift   and   then   came   the   pitch   for   money,   not   to pay   for   the   “gift”   but   to   help   fund   a   trip   or   some   other venture   they   were   supporting. The   rule   was,   “If   we   give you   a   gift,   then   it   is   appropriate   for   you   to   give   us   a   gift, preferably   paper   money.”   It   doesn’t   take   too   many   of those   encounters   to   learn   how   to   become   oblivious   to the   vendors   around   you.   Once   away   from   the   hotel   a few   blocks,   the   streets   became   more   like   any   town   or city, just people going from here to there. There   were   no   pubic   washroom   facilities   in   the   city. There   were   walls,   gutters,   a   few   trees   and   such,   but   no public      restrooms.      This      became      painfully      and embarrassingly   clear   on   an   early   morning   walk   Randy and   I   took   to   see   the   ocean   on   the   west   side   of   town. We    left    the    hotel    before    sunrise    to    avoid    all    the vendors   and   made   our   way   about   a   mile   or   so   to   the Atlantic   Ocean.   The   streets   were   quiet   with   just   a   few trades   people   making   there   way   along   with   carts   or tools   to   shops   or   storefronts.   When   we   approached   the beach   we   were   impressed   by   the   size   and   numbers   of black-rock   boulders   lying   in   jumbles   from   the   street down   the   30%   slope   about   30   to   40   feet   to   the   beach. We   found   a   steep   pathway   among   the   4   to   8   foot   in diameter    boulders    and    began    the    decent    to    the seemingly deserted beach. With   the   first   few   steps   we   became   painfully   aware   we need   to   be   mindful   of   just   where   we   were   stepping. The   rock   boulders   were   not   the   only   “obstacles”   on   the slope.   My   heart   saddened   to   know   that   not   only   were we   “in”   the   public   bathroom,   it   was   in   full   use   by   many others,    who    were    considerably    distressed    at    our presence.   We   didn’t   continue   our   journey   to   the   ocean but   opted   to   respect   the   local   culture   and   conditions and leave quietly, unobtrusively back up the incline. By   then   the   sun   was   up   and   as   we   made   our   way along   the   streets   we   came   upon   a   man   with   a   cart   -   full of   fresh,   warm,   handmade   French   bread   loaves.   The aroma   of   those   eight   inch,   crusty,   hand-crafted   loaves was   better   than   any   perfume   invented   by   mankind.   It was   one   of   those   once-in-a-lifetime   experiences   that only   being   there   can   ever   make   it   real   to   your   mind. The setting was perfect. I’m   not   sure   what   the ARIA   mission   was   while   we   were there,   perhaps Trident   testing.   If   pressed,   I’m   not   sure   I could   tell   you   the   route   taken   to   Dakar,   but   it   was   likely through Ascension   Island.   We   spent   about   five   days   in Senegal I think. On   one   of   those   days   I   made   my   way   to   the   open market.   I   was   told   I   could   find   some   bargains   there   and to   never   give   the   asking   price   –   always   haggle   it   down. What   a   culture   shock   for   this   northern   Michigan   farm boy,   but   I   was   so   glad   to   be   there.   I   wanted   to   soak   it all   in.   I   walked   among   the   fish   tables,   blood   and   guts on   the   floor,   flies   in   the   air,   and   a   smell   like   no   other. The   hog   pens   I   had   cleaned   as   a   kid   couldn’t   hold   a candle   to   this   aroma.   But,   it   was   real,   it   was   life   for these   people.   They   had   no   choice,   that   is,   those   with money had no choice. I   remember   buying   two   long   shirts,   embroidered   from the   neck   to   the   waist   with   intricate   needle   work,   for   $20 each.   I   probably   could   have   gotten   them   both   for   $10, but   I   didn’t.   I   still   have   those   two   items,   however   mine is a little tight these days. One   evening,   Randy,   I,   and   Robin   Wheaton   made   our way   through   the   city   to   the   US   Embassy.   Two   things stand   out   about   that   walk.   The   first   happened   on   the way   there.   In   Dakar,   as   in   many   of   the   cities   we   visited while   on   ARIA   mission,   homeowners   often   fence   in their   homes   with   concrete,   stone,   or   some   other   type of   masonry   wall,   sometimes   eight   or   more   feet   high, complete   with   metal   spikes,   shards   of   broken   glass   set in    mortar,    or    some    type    of    barbed    or    bladed    wire. Some   had   more   than   one   type   of   deterrent.   Locked metal   gates   barred   the   way   to   the   walk   or   driveways. Many    are    protected    additionally    by    dogs.    We    didn’t know   this   final   detail   as   we   went   walking   along   the street.    We    were    typical    GI’s    walking    along,    three abreast,   talking   and   joking,   just   being   tourists.   Randy was   walking   next   to   the   wall.   I   was   on   the   street   side. Both   of   us   were   of   fair   stature.   Robin   in   the   middle,   a bit   smaller.   As   we   were   about   half   way   over   the   drive of   this   one   home,   at   least   two   very   loudly   barking   and vicious    sounding    dogs    came    lunging    at    the    gate. Randy   made   a   good   choice   to   move   quickly   to   his   left, away    from    the    dogs.    I    on    the    other    hand    seemed frozen   in   my   tracks.   Robin,   in   the   middle,   was   nearly squished.   When   we   could   breath   again,   we   laughed   at what   had   happened   and   how   scared   we   were.   It   must have been a pretty funny scene to have seen. The    second    memorable    thing    was    what    we    came across   just   outside   the   embassy   gates.   Between   the curb   and   the   sidewalk   was   just   sand,   no   grass.   There in   that   between   space   was   a   man   sleeping,   a   local.   He was   on   a   grass   mat   and   there   was   another   grass   mat rolled   out   beside   him.   On   it,   perhaps   all   of   his   worldly possessions,   a   pipe,   some   chew   sticks   (wood   stems from   a   plant   with   mild   narcotic   like   action   we   were   told later),   a   necklace   and   a   few   other   items,   perhaps   a small   wooden   box   included.   This   is   one   of   the   reasons I   walked   the   towns   and   cities   we   visited,   to   see   what was real for them. Another    stark    reality    of    the    city    was    cripples    and beggars.   We   saw   several   men   on   platforms   of   wood, perhaps   14   to   16   inches   square,   mounted   with   metal caster   type   wheels   underneath.   The   men,   some   with truncated   legs,   some   with   no   legs,   made   their   way around   using   the   backs   of   their   hands,   their   fists   as   it were,   to   press   against   the   pavement   or   earth   and   use their   arms   to   propel   themselves   along.   Some   of   them begged.   They   had   no   other   form   of   support.   Near   the hotel,   on   the   other   side   of   the   street   was   a   blind   lady. She    sat    on    the    sidewalk,    her    legs    out    toward    the street,   her   back   against   the   wall,   two   small   children crawling   over   her,   playing   around   her.   Her   cup   for   alms sat   at   her   side.   Her   eyelids   were   matted   shut.   Flies were   everywhere,   on   her,   on   the   children.   There   is   no way    to    walk    away    from    those    sights    without    being forever   affected.   ARIA   was   my   portal   to   much   of   the reality of the rest of the world. Poverty,   ignorance,   disease.   We   are   all   brothers   and sisters.   I   need   to   do   my   part   in   helping   to   overcome these maladies. There   was   more   to   the   trip,   like   a   visit   to   the   silver market   where   one   of   our   crew   traded   a   nice   pair   of pilot   type   sunglasses   for   a   fair   amount   of   worked   silver. I    didn’t    buy    any    silver    jewelry,    even    though    it    was intricately   fashioned   and   pretty.   It   looked   too   much   like the   solder   in   my   tool   kit   back   at   WPAFB   to   get   too excited.   However,   I   did   buy   a   hand   fashioned   walking cane   which   I   was   assured   was   crafted   from   difficult   to work    and    expensive    ebony    wood.    I    didn’t    want    to believe   what   some   of   the   crew   said   about   it   being mahogany   rubbed   well   with   lamp   black   and/or   black shoe   polish.   Later,   when   my   young   son   broke   the   cane while   playing   with   it   at   home,   mahogany   it   was   to   be sure.    Oh    well,    the    twenty    bucks    was    well    spent anyway. Would   I   ever   go   back   to   Dakar?   Yes,   if   there   was   a way    to    help    alleviate    some    of    the    ignorance    and poverty and to again taste those French loaves. Neil A. Hendricks HF Operator ARIA 60-0374