ok, the african series continues. this is another of the 5 dresses i took on my trip. i wore it with a sweatshirt in Morocco when we toured the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, which is an architectural marvel and is built partly over the ocean with a glass floor to see the waves beneath you. we actually visited in twice because we were so fascinated with the architecture, so you’ll see some other pics of it in my next post. this is the fountain room for religious washing beneath the mosque, all beautifully crafted in moroccan marbles and mosaics.
the Hassan II has the highest religious minaret in the world and the place is gigantic – it fits 25,000 people inside and another 80,000 on the outside mezzanine area.
the other awesome thing in casablanca besides the mosque is the food. we ate some amazing grub. here i am dining al fresco on a tagine comprised of fresh fish and sweet potatoes.
i wore the same dress a week later on a trip to goree island, off the coast of dakar in senegal, one of the processing centers of the slave trade back in the day. goree is one of the places i remember well from my childhood in senegal and it made me incredibly nostalgic to go back there again. the island was a transportation center for getting the captured slaves on ships to the western world. it is hauntingly beautiful because of the cultural and historical significance of the place. there are no vehicles on the island, so it very much feels like going back in time.
it’s so important that we never forget the appalling fact that we humans used to buy and sell one another like animals. this door open to the sea is called ‘the door of no return’ and is where the slaves would be driven through in chains to board ships for the western world, never to see their homeland in africa again. it makes me feel literally ill to think about it.
after visiting the slave house we walked around the whole island just soaking up the atmosphere. there are actually senegalese songs which mention the ‘colors of goree’ and you can see why…the most amazing tropical shades all blending together with the sea and sky.
my senegalese family went along on the trip to goree. i am very proud to introduce them to you. in order are my cousin antoine, my adorable nephew philippe, my sister-in-law aurelie, my niece lydie, my cousin mariatou and my brother pascal. and of course me and todd. everyone is wearing the new threadless t shirts we brought them for christmas too. don’t we look colorful?
outfit details: flowered dress is from target; silver-blue shoes are barefoots by merrell; orange dress underneath is vintage; flat boots are cynthia rowley; purple sweatshirt is from the gap
song inspiration: “under african skies” by paul simon and miriam makeba. this is one of my very favorite songs on the graceland album. i think linda ronstadt sings with paul simon on the record, but this version of this song always makes me so homesick because i too grew up under african skies. miriam makeba was a south african singer and one of the people who made african music accessible to the rest of the world. she was also an anti-apartheid activist and an incredible woman. this song will give you chicken skin.