Lives of Pi 

Untold stories of lives affected by the ocean’s waves have been swept beneath a dark rug. Enough for each of the numbers following the decimal point of Pi. Yet these people’s stories haven’t been witnessed on Hollywood’s grand screen.   The fishermen of Senegal have a task like none I’ve ever seen. Not only in the Casamance River but also in the Atlantic Ocean, they live, day and night, aboard out hollowed canoes. They take turns watching over their catch during the night to prevent competitors from stealing their awaiting nets, roasting tea and fish on coals submerged in sand within a metal pot inside the boat. After five straight days they come to shore, yet so used to the water’s movement that their legs wobble on dry land.  Storms brew on Africa’s coastline. That which would become Katrina killed hundreds of Senegalese fishermen. Canoes carved from the magnificent Fromagier trees snapped in half like kindling, would be survivors lost to sharks, dehydration, or drowning. If their bodies are found, they’re buried in a special graveyard devoted to those lost at sea.   Many are never found. The sole French survivor of Le Jóola is known to swim farther than eye can see, back into the ocean, looking for his wife.


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