During our trip in Senegal, we were promised to visit a village with no contact with civilization. However, it was far from an isolated community we were greeted by.
That the village was not like promised by the guides, we realized when we first went off the boat and took our first steps on the island. We saw several young boys that was walking around with radios in their hands listening to pop-music. While the children were flocking around us. Holding person after person in their hands. Trying to get some small donations. They were obviously used to many tourists.
We visited in a big group of tourists. The day before, there probably was another group. The day after, another.
Though, the community lived in traditional houses, like many do in Senegal. They also had some modern constructions on the island. In many ways, they live their traditional lives, depending on fishery. However, they dressed in western clothes. They had access to modern technology. Used plastic chairs, tables and bowls. So to say that this is an isolated community that have to contact with the outside world, and civilization, was definitely a lie.
That being said, it was a nice experience to visit a local village in Senegal. I also have to admit that it was not a big surprise that in reality it was not as the guides had described beforehand. As far as we know, there are very few groups that have no idea of civilization today. So we of course did not picture to actually meet an isolated community like the tribes living in the Amazon rainforest. Furthermore, it would be a very bad idea to bring tourists to these communities.
However, the community of this village in Senegal was maybe living more traditional and isolated before. Nevertheless, bringing big groups of tourists of course contributes to westernisation. And things change rapidly. For the better or worse. It is not to put under a chair, that often we as tourists ruin the places we visit. Stay tuned for a post about this, later this week.
Anyway, back to the point, the guide promised something else than what was actually there. Have you ever experienced expecting something, that turned out to be something totally different during your travels?