So, Monday was Pentecost Day--a day off work. The students asked to renegotiate our time for the day. We ended up meeting from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Got our five hours in. They were able to head to the special services their churches had scheduled. Pastor Lee, Fear Love, Joon, and I headed for Rose Lake. I had this rather romantic picture in my head of what Rose Lake would be like. A picturesque place with African bao bao trees, maybe zebras wandering around its edges, and bright pink water. The actual picture is a bit more like a dessert oasis in the cartoons, a large pool of water with maybe a palm tree.
As we were driving, Fear Love began lamenting that the sky was overcast. Not a good day to go to Rose Lake she said and apologized to me. I had no idea why she was concerned. It did look cloudy, but not enough that it would rain. And it was a bit cooler than it has been. Seemed like a good thing to me.
But when we arrived at the lake, she offered a tsk, tsk. You can't really see the unique color of the water without bright sunlight--something that is normally in abundance in Senegal.
We found a restaurant on a creaky, old pier jutting out over the edge of the lake. The lake is mined for salt, so their are salt deposits all around it. Just under the pier you could see the rose color of the water, but looking out across the lake, the water just looked a little murky. There are a few boatmen who have painted their little john boats pink. For a few African franc, they will take tourists out for a trip around the lake. They say the water has curative properties and we did see a few white people going for a swim. Fear Love told me that when her husband tried it, he was sick for a week. She wasn't buying the curative thing.
The Lee's were wonderful hosts. Joon was entertaining as only a 7th grade boy can be. And it was a wonderful afternoon, pink water or no.