The wonderful Beth Revis asked on her blog what book you are most thankful for and for me at least it's a really difficult question to answer. I have so many books that have ben influential in my life. However, I starting thinking about books that have been important to me that relate to my trip. I found one - Le Petit Prince by Antoine de St. Exupéry.
I first read the book in my high school French 4 class when I was a junior. It was the first book I read in French and it was the first time I realized that I could really understand French. The whole premise of the story of repressed childhood dreams and the difference between adults and children. I can still close my eyes and see those first pictures of what looks like a hat and it's really a boa with his last lunch inside him. The story reminded me as someone on the verge of true adulthood of graduation and college that you should always follow the stars and live your dreams. It also serves as a reminder even today that some of the most important lessons about love, friendship, dreams, etc. are the lessons we learn as children. We should always treasure those lessons.
So how does this relate to my desire to go to Africa and my trip to Senegal? Well, Le Petit Prince introduced me to baobab trees and I have loved them ever since. I took so many pictures of them in Senegal that I lost count. Check out the example below - there are many more. I guess in a way, Le Petit Prince made me curious about Africa and my curiosity grew into my desire to go and see Africa for myself.
Also, when I was in Senegal, we stayed at L'Hôtel de la Poste where all the famous aviators through stayed when flying through Africa. One of them was St. Exupéry. The hotel's keys are shaped like airplanes too!