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The beuty of the women.

A side of Senegal we didn't know existed.

"Unstoppable Pamela" strikes again !
An intrepid traveller, popular NRPS member Pamela Bruce-Lockhart takes herself and her camera off to the most unlikely destinations worldwide that many of us struggle to locate on a map, and few consider as holiday venues. Thus it was in March, when armed only with the inevitable hat and hand luggage, she set off for an adventure in Senegal. Pamela’s wry sense of humour and deep concern for all things humane shone through her account of the trip, and members were left in awe of her antics alone in such a far-away place. Landing at night in the capital, Dakar, any illusions of sustainable modernity quickly disappeared on leaving the airport, as the glistening tarmac roads surrounding the buildings dissolved into the dusty tracks and harsh terrain, with which she would soon become accustomed.

Befriending her host as well as her guide, Pamela travelled to the Palace in Dakar, only to be met with thronging crowds and massed guards. Undeterred she abandoned that idea, and instead explored the erstwhile slave island of Goree; a place of stark contrasts where memories of the horrors of the “Door of No Return” prevail, but colourful orange and blue buildings rise from the dust and detritus of the streets, albeit having seen somewhat better days. A dog lover, Pamela saw few, but encountered many feral cats inhabiting the rubbish strewn streets, and as ever, she sought to improve the lot of the beasts she did encounter. On Jackal pups to lurking monkeys that basked in her shadow and stole her lunch she offered advice, but judiciously chose to steer clear of the ever-present crocs in the waterways.

Through her lens we saw the fishermen, the stilted grain huts, the shelled beaches and the traditional African lodges, as she clicked away from under the inevitable hat. Persuasive as ever where photos are concerned, she managed to capture the beauty of the women in the market, selling textiles and transporting their goods in the traditional manner, atop their heads.

Before venturing into the desert, Pamela was literally swept off her feet by a young fisherman, keen to lift her onto a boat off the litter strewn beach, and to transport her away from the stench of the fish market to the Mangrove swamps and beyond. By now known affectionately by locals as “Unstoppable Pamela”, she faithfully recorded, in pictures that are not always pretty, life as it is there-often bare, arid and ugly where the heat and the dust are relentless, and the grass never grows.

There were birds a plenty, especially Pelicans, but Pamela remembers Senegal most for its rubbish and the perils within those tangles for the animals and children, the towering Bilboa trees and the dust. Nevertheless, her animated and inspiring talk was full of the dignity of its surprisingly immaculate people, the unexpected vibrance of the sunsets, and the contrast between the ramshackled buildings and the undeniably classic beauty of its women.

Jenny Short. 17.11.2023