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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Getting Ready For Senegal

I'm getting ready for my trip to Senegal and Mali. It was a bit of a hassle getting the Mali visa-- which sat on the desk of someone at the DC Embassy for a few weeks-- but there's no need for a visa for Senegal. The Malians charge $131. The Malians also insist on a Yellow Fever vacination so after unsuccessfully pleading with a doctor to just give me the form that says I got one without actually shooting me up with whatever poisons the vacination is made from, I did get the shot. And I made reservations to rent a 4WD vehicle and a driver and made some reservations for hotels and a flight from Dakar to Bamako and I'm very busy running around buying food bars and hand wipes and silk sheets and an ergonomic backpack for my trek in the Dogon Country. But a friend sent me some music from Senegal today that I thought listening to that would be an even better way to get ready for my trip.

I'm a fan of Malian music, especially of Ali Farka Touré, the bluesman who died a couple years ago. And I have an intro from a friend to meet Bassekou Kouyate whose music sounds great. But I don't know anything about the music of Senegal, other than the world-renowned music of Youssou N'Dour, of course. Djele Lankandia Cissoko plays Kora music from Casamance. It really appeals to me and I'm hoping I can find some live music like this in Dakar.

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