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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010


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Greetings!

We are currently preparing and repacking our packs to head off tommorrow morning for Kedougou.... our trekking portion. Thies has been amazing, but I cannot WAIT to adventure down south, where things will be greener and more quiet. The food here is delicious and we have been spoiled in the program house with our amazing cook Verro (sp?). Also, the friends of Mbouille, Liz, and Christy and everyone else we've met so far have shown me a generosity like Ive never experienced and for this I feel truly blessed.

More to come onthe south in the coming weeks.

Ba beneen!

Abi

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Adventures to Kedougou tommorow

Abi Wood,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Greetings! We are currently preparing and repacking our packs to head off tommorrow morning for Kedougou…. our trekking portion. Thies has been amazing, but I cannot WAIT to adventure down south, where things will be greener and more quiet. The food here is delicious and we have been spoiled in the program house with our […]

Posted On

07/6/10

Author

Abi Wood

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Dear Senegal 2010 readers,

Thank you for watching our yak board! We are in Thies, a medium sized city in Senegal, and all is well. I can hear Christy leading an “Introduction to Development” lesson through the windows, along with the sounds of taxis honking and the intriguing sounds of Wolof being spoken in the streets outside our program house. I can smell the very distinct smell of this city, some intoxicating mixture of incense, fish, and the near by sea. I’m watching the sky out of the corner of my eye, as the sun will soon set, and the last call to prayer will echo from the mosque next door. The birds will sleep, and the bats and mosquitoes will come out, and 11 young adults will crawl into their nets and tents full of images, smells and sounds from the past two days.

One student pointed out that he could go home tomorrow and feel like he had learned more on this trip than on any other. And we all feel like there is an incredible amount to see and do and absorb on this journey. We began with our foundation, we have covered all the rules and policies that will keep us safe and healthy, and we have started Wolof and French classes, and lessons on Religion and Development. We visited a nearby village that is supported by Heifer international, to see how large international organizations work at a local level. We have visited markets, had local clothing made, and tried all the best of Senegalese food in Thies. We are ready to move, and at the same time we know that there is so much more to uncover here!

We are packing up in order to head to the South before dawn tomorrow morning. We will likely be out of touch until the 14th at the latest, as we will be walking through the beautiful hills of Kedougou region. Please be patient with us, as we will be in African bush with no internet!!

As an instructor team, we feel like the group is functioning at a very high level for so early on in a program. They are greeting people in Wolof, they are eating with their hands, and they are taking care of their daily roles and goals with an incredible amount of autonomy and self-motivation. We really look forward to spending five more weeks with these people, in this place that is so special to us. We are thrilled to be here, and we look forward to all the things we have to learn and uncover on this journey. Thank you again, and keep your eyes on the board for more updates from the students!

Blessings from Senegal!!

Liz, Mbouille and Christy

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Here we go!

Liz Connor,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Dear Senegal 2010 readers, Thank you for watching our yak board! We are in Thies, a medium sized city in Senegal, and all is well. I can hear Christy leading an “Introduction to Development” lesson through the windows, along with the sounds of taxis honking and the intriguing sounds of Wolof being spoken in the […]

Posted On

07/6/10

Author

Liz Connor

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So when I previouslyheard about Africa the first thing that came to my mind was what is portrayed by the media. You know people starving, not so clean type of environment. But in reality this may be one of the best places I traveled thus far. Everyone is so friendly and quick to greet you. People want to have conversations and ask how are you doing on a regular basis. Not to mention the beautiful colorsof fabric the people over here wears. It ismore beautiful than words can describe.

So since I have been here I have had my first homestay and all. Within the limited of timeI had to spend with them we managed to eat about four meals, and it delicious too. The people here sure doknow how to make you feel at home.

We shower at least three times a day here which is very reasonable considering the heat and sweat that comes along with it. Although it has only been a week I feel as thoughI know this place like the back of my hand.

Tomorrow we begin our trekking session which I am truly happy about. I am kind of sad to leave the city of Chad though. Oh yeah, sorry that this Yak sound a little funny but the keyboars here are so different that it is kind of hard to comprehend with.

Whole thing in a nutshellis that there is more to Senegal, Africa than what the media present.

THIS PLACE ROCKS

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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More beyond than what you see and hear

Michael Tillman Jr.,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

So when I previouslyheard about Africa the first thing that came to my mind was what is portrayed by the media. You know people starving, not so clean type of environment. But in reality this may be one of the best places I traveled thus far. Everyone is so friendly and quick to greet you. […]

Posted On

07/6/10

Author

Michael Tillman Jr.

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    [post_content] => Its been a week since we have been in senegal and everything has been an eye opener for me. People here are so friendly and are glad that americans have come to their country which says alot about them. So during the first week I had my first homestay for a few hours but in that time frame I learned so much. It was the so odd being the person who doesnt understand the language that my homestay family was speaking which was wolof. But although we had that communication barier we managed and they tryed teachung me the traditional dance but that didnt go too well. In return I taught them the macarena and it was so much fun! I also had cloths made so that we could be more part of the culture and it was a blast going to the market to find fabric and barganing the prices. The outfits/pieces of clothing turned out so well that I cant wait to show them off. 
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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Learning

Carolina valle,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Its been a week since we have been in senegal and everything has been an eye opener for me. People here are so friendly and are glad that americans have come to their country which says alot about them. So during the first week I had my first homestay for a few hours but in […]

Posted On

07/6/10

Author

Carolina valle

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Hello Everyone!

We have now been in Senegal for almost a weekand I'm already feeling so lucky since it seems like I'm inAfrica with 10 of my best friends. Extremely enthusiastically, everyone has become completely immersed in the Senegalize culture. This trip presents students with endless opportunities, such as drumming lessons, market visits, etc,which we have all taken full advantage of.Two days ago we returned from our first mini homestay filled with unforgettable memories. Many people returned with stories of goat washing, pig feeding, cooking, etc. Our group posted a yak about that yesterday so I won't go into too much detail about the homestay. Yesterday we visited an english club for a heated political debate and some July 4th celebrations. Even though we were only there for half a day, everyone now has countless Senegalize friends and pen pals. The more time we spend here, the more immersed we become. By now we are all masters of eating messy rice dishes with our hands and almost everyone has a Senegalize name and traditional outfit. In two days we are leaving for our treak , which is followed by a one week homestay. I can't wait!

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Senegal

Sophie Hoffman,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Hello Everyone! We have now been in Senegal for almost a weekand I’m already feeling so lucky since it seems like I’m inAfrica with 10 of my best friends. Extremely enthusiastically, everyone has become completely immersed in the Senegalize culture. This trip presents students with endless opportunities, such as drumming lessons, market visits, etc,which we […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Sophie Hoffman

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Hi all.

I want to share a bit of the new experience we’re having with the group. I can’t believe that we’ve been here for just less than a week. There are so many things going on now.

Okay, this morning i was at the market with a group of students to run some errands, and from behind I could see how well they were figuring out what they were doing; at a certain point I was in a shop with one student and the rest of the group was waiting at the corner in another stand. When we joined them later, I was surprised to see them showing me some pants with the word«Senegal» written on it. I asked them how much they bought it; and I was proud to realize that they got it at a normal price after bargaining on their own. Because, bargaining is among the important skills they need to get and improve at this point of the trip.

Last weekend they had their first rural life experience in Fandeene, a village about 7 kms from Thies. After they spent a few hours in the homestays with whom they had dinner, the whole group got reunited at the local junior high school and i heard one of them ( michael) say: « I don’t know for others, but my homestay was amazing and I did not want to come back»; The next day, I heard them all sharing the amazing things they all did with their homestay families.

Though they shared a lot about what they did, I think there’s a lot more to share with you all; but I think there is still more to share.

But I strongly believe that at the moment they’ve learnt a lot about «serere» culture and tradition ( "serere" is an ethnic group that is in this area).

From horse cart rides, sheep washing, cooking, sweeping, learning songs and language to the sharing of cultures, i feel like they saw and did a lot in a short time. And it’s interesting to see how excited the students were about it dispite the heat and new food.

Anyway, this is just a biginning. Get ready. For in a couple of days we’ll be leaving thies for Kedougou ( East of Senegal) our hiking and trekking area. I can tell you that this is one of my favorites. It rains more there and the landscape is gorgeous. The people are also warm, nice and welcoming. What is more interesting is that everything is almost different from what we’ve seen so far.I’ll just let you keep track and read our next yaks. «It’s something to crow about».

Thank you all. Until then.

Mbouillé

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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What about senegal?

Mbouillé Diallo,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Hi all. I want to share a bit of the new experience we’re having with the group. I can’t believe that we’ve been here for just less than a week. There are so many things going on now. Okay, this morning i was at the market with a group of students to run some errands, […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Mbouillé Diallo

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Hi Everyone!

Senegal continues to be amazing. The people here are so kind and welcoming. They are very happy and laugh when we try to speak Wolof. We spent an amazingday with our first hometay family. They were so open and happy for me to be there, I felt as thoughI had been there for a long time, and I did not want to leave. I cannot imagine how hard it will be to leave the family we stay with for a week.

The heat becomes more bareable every day, and I am getting used to the culture and way-of-life here. It is so different from American society, yet there are certain similarities between the two; it is very interesting to compare the two cultures.

This trip is amazing and I cannot wait for the new and unknown experiences in store for me in this beautiful culture and country.

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Still Beautiful and Amazing

Aliera Morasch,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Hi Everyone! Senegal continues to be amazing. The people here are so kind and welcoming. They are very happy and laugh when we try to speak Wolof. We spent an amazingday with our first hometay family. They were so open and happy for me to be there, I felt as thoughI had been there for […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Aliera Morasch

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    [post_content] => It has only been five days that our grouphas been in Senegal, butit feels far longer, and I mean that in the best way possible. Eating with my hands and sweating like a pig are very normal things now. The 11 people in my group are potentially the smartest, nicest, most talkative, caring, and funny peopleI have ever met. The instructors say that this high that the group and I are feeling is just temporary because we are in the "forming" stage of the journey, but I know that the warm feelings I already have towards the Senegalese culture and my American counterparts are more or less permenant. We are still situated in our program house in Thies, but we are all excited to get going on the next portion of thetrip, trekking, in two days. We spend our days learning through lessons, exploring the market and Fadene (local village), speaking French and Wolof, and trying to stay cool. I can't wait to check in with more news!
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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Becoming Accostumed

bridget thompson,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

It has only been five days that our grouphas been in Senegal, butit feels far longer, and I mean that in the best way possible. Eating with my hands and sweating like a pig are very normal things now. The 11 people in my group are potentially the smartest, nicest, most talkative, caring, and funny […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

bridget thompson

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    [post_content] => 

AsI sit here in abusy cyber inThiès writing on behalf of the entire group, having yet another hotflash,it is dificult tobeleive that our journey here in Senegal began only a short while ago. It feels likea lifetime has passed since our first steps through the dusty roads of the market, beeing greeted with smiles and blessings, as we were welcomed to this country; in just several days, we have immeresed ourselves so deeply into this community and culture, taking it all in, taking this foreign identity upon ourselves.

Traveling to the rural village of Fandeen, we were shown the essence of family and hospitality- entering the homes of complete strangers and becoming their children and siblings, being offered all these people had, being hugged, loved,and reached to with open hands and eyes that shine with affection.Their homes became our homes and their lives our lives- washing their goats, learning to make tea and baskets, and having our hair braided. When the time came to part, we knew thatthese peoplewe had known for merely hours, would indeed leave a lasting impressionb upon our charactersand virtues.

Now back in the city on July4th,we return to familiar faces, football games with new friends,handgames in the street, and the smell of insense rising from the mosques.After making our way once again through the crowded urban streets, wespent the afternoon with a local English club, and students seemingly more excited abour our country than us.Perhaps there is always a craving for the unknownand still undiscovered to onself, and with that we leave to see more for ourselves- to pick up our traditional clothing from the tailor and celebrate thet holiday with a local artisan family(over what I am sure will be a dinner of lots of rice).

All has been well, our goalsclearly set, and the motivation to see them come to fruition is at a high.

Ba Beneen!

Michael and Team Senegal 2010

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Hot Flashes in Fandeen

Senegal Group 2010,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

AsI sit here in abusy cyber inThiès writing on behalf of the entire group, having yet another hotflash,it is dificult tobeleive that our journey here in Senegal began only a short while ago. It feels likea lifetime has passed since our first steps through the dusty roads of the market, beeing greeted with smiles and […]

Posted On

07/4/10

Author

Senegal Group 2010

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-04 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

First off, Mom and Dad, I AM OKAY! Senegal is even better than I anticipated and my instructors are amazing. I didnt post a yak earlier because the power got cut off mid yak but everything is fine.

You don't fully appreciate the basic things in life until you arrive in Senegal. Last night, I slept on a mattress instead of a two inch foam sheet for the first time in five days---it was one of the best nights of sleep ever. And today I walked into a school with, get this, AIR CONDITIONING! I know, I can't get over it myself.

But you also don't realize how great life can be with simply some rice and beans, a trusty bug hut, and the friendly smiles of the Senegalese. You'd think I'd be eaten alive by mosquitos or sweating my face off, but instead I'm learning to accept the heat and bugs, learn Wolof and play the drum (badly). Even though people may have less physically here, they make it up by the tons in the vibrant personalities and colorful clothing. Even though I've only been here for five days around, I feel like it's been weeks. Lynn Miao is beginning to look more like my Senegalese alter ego, Coudou Diop (KO-du JOP). And that's wonderful.

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Coudou Diop

Lynn Miao,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

First off, Mom and Dad, I AM OKAY! Senegal is even better than I anticipated and my instructors are amazing. I didnt post a yak earlier because the power got cut off mid yak but everything is fine. You don’t fully appreciate the basic things in life until you arrive in Senegal. Last night, I […]

Posted On

07/4/10

Author

Lynn Miao

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