A Pink Lake?
By Awake! writer in Senegal
CAN a lake really be pink? Lake Retba is called Pink Lake, and since it is only 18 miles [30 km] from our home in Dakar, Senegal, in West Africa, we decide to take a trip to see if it truly deserves the name. As we arrive, we catch sight of the water sparkling in the sunshine. Sure enough, it is a lovely shade of pink. Our guide explains that sunlight reacts with microorganisms in the water to produce the extraordinary hue. However, there is more to see here than just the color of the lake.
Beneath the lake’s shallow waters lies a bed of salt. The water is so salty and buoyant that some visitors, we notice, cannot pass up the opportunity to float effortlessly on its surface.
It is obvious that Pink Lake provides income for hundreds of people (1). Along the waterfront, workers are loading salt onto trucks. We pause for a moment to observe the locals extracting salt from the lake. We can see men standing chest-deep in the lake, breaking up salt with long picks. They shovel it into baskets and load it into boats. One of the workers tells us that it takes three hours to gather a ton of salt. The vessels are so loaded down that they barely keep afloat (2). When the boats arrive at the shore, women take over the job, carrying the salt on their heads in buckets (3). As they work together, they serve as a human conveyor belt.
Our trip was a fascinating experience. This pink lake is another of the many wonders that make our earth a precious gift from Jehovah.—Psalm 115:16.
[Picture Credit Line on page 18]
Photo by Jacques CLEMENT, Clichy, FRANCE at http://community.webshots.com/user/pfjc