We. Went. To. Africa…Part 3!
The wait is over and we’re back with more travel fun!
We’re trekking to the western side of the great continent and you’re in for a special treat. This trip packs a triple dose of adventure with MORE sights and MORE sounds than ever before! Get ready for Parts 3, 4 & 5 of our series. You’re in for a whirlwind of travel over the next three days, when we go to Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria!!
Phew! Be sure to pack some sunblock and let’s get moving!
Trip # 1 – Mauritania
On this first adventure, you’ll have to bring your earbuds so you can enjoy the in-flight movie, Mauritania: Men of the Sea. Want to really know what life is like for the fishermen who rely solely on the sea for their livelihood? If so, this documentary is for you. Don’t be put off by the run time. My daughters and I (they’re 5 & 8 y/o) were able to stretch it over about a week’s time and it did not disappoint!
Duke it Out!
Ever heard the phrase “let’s duke it out”? Well, the traditional game of Anigur has a similar concept when played in Mauritania. Only with this game, there’s no victims or even winners or losers. It’s purely for entertainment. Read more about it at Global Voices and you can see Anigur played here:
Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane, gives readers a better glance into the Islamic culture and traditions held dear by so many Muslims all over the world. It’s the story of a young girl desiring to embrace her faith. Even as a family who practices a different faith, my girls and I were still able to appreciate the opportunity to learn about a culture different from our own.
** Please Note: Technically, Mauritania is a country in North West Africa. And when we studied it, we “went” there during the time of our family’s other North African “visits”. BUT! For the purposes of the planning and pacing of our “trips” in this blog series, it fit best to place it with the other West African countries. Hope I didn’t cause any confusion!
Trip #2 – Mali
Let’s Go Back…WAAAAY Back!
By the time Mansa Musa ascended the throne, the Kingdom of Mali was of one of the largest empires in the world! African Beginnings by James Haskins and Kathleen Benson, charts the rise of this super power. Swallowing up modern day Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Nigeria and Chad, the Mali Empire, was known even to the far reaches of southern Europe!
The Richest King in History!
Do yourself a favor and grab the book, Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali by Khephra Burns. In it, you’ll hear a tale about the life of history’s richest King, Mansa Musa. The book’s stunning artwork is also sure to take your breath away. As an aside, don’t be intimidated by the lengthy text. The girls and I broke this one up over the course of several days as well. Believe me, it is well worth your time!
Tinga Tinga Tales is one of the few ways in which the vibrant tradition of African story telling has come to life on the small screen. Ever wonder why the spider has a tiny waist. Why doesn’t the hippo have any hair? And why does rhino charge? Watch Tinga Tinga Tales to find out!
Trip #3 – Senegal
Lullabies are a time honored tradition in almost every culture around the world. In Africa, it’s no different. In Songs from the Baobab: African Lullabies & Nursery Rhymes, you won’t have to fight being wooed to sleep in order to enjoy this compilation of songs from Central and West Africa. We also learned the body parts in the Wolof language as we sang along with one of the songs.
If you’re looking for an excellent resource to explore numerous African countries, look no further than the website Our Africa. Stop by to experience Senegal for an in-depth look at this wonderful country.
Grab a Snack!
We snuck some Home Economics in to enhance our menu…er uh, learning on this visit. 😉 Peanuts are great, but let’s face it, if you combine them with sugar (cane), you’ll be in for a tasty treat! That’s what we did when we studied the two major cash crops of Senegal. Check out Cultures of the World: Senegal from your local library to learn more. In fact, it’s a whole series of books that covers many other countries as well. And then, watch this video (it’s subtitled) to find out more about sugar cane.
It’s so easy to make these Sugared Peanuts, you would’ve wished you tried it sooner!
This is how it turned out when we made this yummy snack. The smell alone made our mouths water!
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Part 4 of our “We Went to Africa” series tomorrow when we cover the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso!