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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010


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    [post_content] => My return to Senegal feels like a homecoming. It started on the  plane--there was a particular smell that brought me back to Senegal's  dusty streets, back to the communal rice bowl, eating tchieb-u-dien  with my hands among friends, back to a bustling market filled  with untold treasures--colorful cotton fabric printed with unmistakably  African designs, beaded bracelets and piles of used clothing, shipped  from American and European second-hand shops to find a long second life  here on the African continent. 

Our first week in Senegal has been full of wonder and exploration. Tonight we will go to the tailor to pick up the students' new outfits, made from fabric that they chose from the market here in Thies. Mbouille has given a foundation in Wolof and French that the students have been practicing with the locals, while Mamadou has shared the rhythm of Senegal with the students through drumming lessons with the djembes, and Babacar kicked off our study of comparative religion with a thoughtful lesson on West African Islam. We have sampled a variety of Senegalese cuisine--tchieb, Senegal's national dish, as well as yassa poulet (rice with chicken and onion sauce), couscous, beans and bread, and morning baguettes with coffee. The day that we spent in Fandene, about 5 miles from Thies, provided insight into village life and a new ethnic group (the Serrers). The students have defined their goals for the summer and identified their independent study projects (ISPs) and the instructor team is targeting resources to support them.

The group will wake up early Wednesday morning to travel diagonally across Senegal to Kedougou, the jumping off point for our trek into the Fouta Djallon region. During this time we will have very limited access to the internet, but we will be in frequent contact with the Boulder office by telephone, and they will post updates to the Yak board with our progress.

For all the parents that are reading, I would like to thank you for sharing your kids with us. Bringing a new group of curious and enthusiastic students to share in Senegal's beauty is such a joy, and I am humbled to be here facilitating that experience for this fantastic group of students with Liz, Mbouille, and our friends.

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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At home in Senegal

Christy Sommers,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

My return to Senegal feels like a homecoming. It started on the plane–there was a particular smell that brought me back to Senegal’s dusty streets, back to the communal rice bowl, eating tchieb-u-dien with my hands among friends, back to a bustling market filled with untold treasures–colorful cotton fabric printed with unmistakably African designs, beaded […]

Posted On

07/4/10

Author

Christy Sommers

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Hello Senegal Families and Friends!

We just received a phone call from the Instructor Team. The entire group is happy and healthy, and already making much use of the Wolof greetings they've learned.

Because of a power outage, the Instructors were unable to post the update Yak they had planned, and the group is now heading off to a rural village where the organization Heifer International is implementing community development projects.

There is no computer access in the village, and so it will be a few more days until the group is able to post to the Yak Board again.

Thanks for entrusting us with such a terrific group of students!

- Dragons admin

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Safe and Sound in Senegal

Dragons Administration,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Hello Senegal Families and Friends! We just received a phone call from the Instructor Team. The entire group is happy and healthy, and already making much use of the Wolof greetings they’ve learned. Because of a power outage, the Instructors were unable to post the update Yak they had planned, and the group is now […]

Posted On

07/2/10

Author

Dragons Administration

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    [post_content] => Today was werid, scattered, and exhausting but at the same time so exciting and fun. It was truly an adventure getting to Senegal, but even just being here for almost 24 hours I can see that all of this effort is worth it. So far, I have eaten delicious yogurt with millet, strong coffee flavored with clove and other distinct spices, and rice with fish and vegetables. The food has been consistintly unique and I am excited to see some more Senegalese specialties. We have already begun some Wolof language study (hard to pronounce!). Sengal is hot, and the group is quiclkly settling into the culture because of the necessary cultural norms that we have to take note of in order to not be too obnoxious or disrespectful. The adventure is just beginning, but it already feels like we have been together for so long, probably because of the absurd amount of sleep we got (maybe three hours). Folks at home, there is no need to worry. We are being taken careof verywell!!!
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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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First/Second Day

Bridget Thompson,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Today was werid, scattered, and exhausting but at the same time so exciting and fun. It was truly an adventure getting to Senegal, but even just being here for almost 24 hours I can see that all of this effort is worth it. So far, I have eaten delicious yogurt with millet, strong coffee flavored […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Bridget Thompson

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After a long day of traveling we finally made it to our program house in Thies. I feel tired but thrilled to be here and excited to get on Senegal time! Today we had Wolof lessons and learned greetings and other basic phrases to help us get around. Senegal is beautiful and busy and I can`t wait to start exploring and learning.

-Abi

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Thies!

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

Description

After a long day of traveling we finally made it to our program house in Thies. I feel tired but thrilled to be here and excited to get on Senegal time! Today we had Wolof lessons and learned greetings and other basic phrases to help us get around. Senegal is beautiful and busy and I […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Abi Wood

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Arriving here in Senegal Africa has to be one of the greatest moments in my life. There is so much to see and that goes way beyiond your imagination. WhenI arrived at the airport around 4:30am I was warmly introduced by the mosiquitos. Not to mention the number of people around us willing to carry our luggage. From that moment on I knew that this trip is going to be to remember.

Within the last 12 hours of our arrival we have learned some helpful language skills that will make our time here alittle more easier. We have tasted numerous of foods and learned the traditions of the Senegal people as well.

I plan on learning a lot from this trip such as different languages, homestyles, and the way of getting around.

Although I have only been in this country for a little over 12hrs. I can tell that what I learn here is going to be useful for the rest of my life.

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Hello To a Different Part of the World

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

Description

Arriving here in Senegal Africa has to be one of the greatest moments in my life. There is so much to see and that goes way beyiond your imagination. WhenI arrived at the airport around 4:30am I was warmly introduced by the mosiquitos. Not to mention the number of people around us willing to carry […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Michael Tillman Jr.

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    [post_content] => Time has become an ambiguous notion, lost to us while the heat slows our senses; yet, despite these strange feelings in a foreign land, each moment is seized with an unprecedented enthusiasm and keensense of lifeas we embrace the Senegalese culture. Broken French and attempted Wolof is met with shining eyes and gleaming smiles, as women in head scarves and children at play welcome us to their homes and their cluttered markets. Our hands dig deep into platters of rice, as friendships and cultural impressions are cultivated by eleven young students, riddled with a sense of adventure, a will to grow, and an urge to experience all which lies before us, for us to seize, for us to shape in a vibrant country, which is utterly neex na.
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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Lots of Sweat et Thiebu Jien

Michael Rothbaum,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Time has become an ambiguous notion, lost to us while the heat slows our senses; yet, despite these strange feelings in a foreign land, each moment is seized with an unprecedented enthusiasm and keensense of lifeas we embrace the Senegalese culture. Broken French and attempted Wolof is met with shining eyes and gleaming smiles, as […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Michael Rothbaum

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After much anticipation, bonding activities in the airport, and an eight hour plane ride, we have finally arrived in Senegal! Tired fromlack of airplane sleep but excited for our journey to begin,we all climbed intoa shaky bus which brought us to meet a few local families beforeit dropped us at our first new home in Thies. We've had an overall relaxing day filled with cultural orientation, bustling markets, and some basic Wolof study. Lunch consisted of a delicious local dish called thiebu jiem, a combination of rice, fish, and vegtables, which we ate with our fingers from communal plates. Tonight we look forward to a cultural ceremony and then a good nights rest (potentially under the stars on the roof of our new home), so that we can be well energized for the adventures that lay ahead!

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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Welcome to Senegal!

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

Description

After much anticipation, bonding activities in the airport, and an eight hour plane ride, we have finally arrived in Senegal! Tired fromlack of airplane sleep but excited for our journey to begin,we all climbed intoa shaky bus which brought us to meet a few local families beforeit dropped us at our first new home in […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Sophie Hoffman

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    [post_content] => Longest day of a trip that ive been on, seriously. The fatigue of taking two plane rides of 6hr duration in the same day takes a toll on you. The group has already made great connections and i feel so comfortable around them :] Sénégal has just blown me away; i got in at 4am and everything was happening so fast. The people when we got out of the airport were quite something, i have never been in a situation were ive been feeling lost and out of place until this morning but i guess its part of the culture of the people that i slowly need to adapt to. Our lunch was amazing, we didnt even need any silverware!!!! We used out right hands to eat thiebu jiem, a mix of rice covered in tomato sauce with veggies and local fish; which of course was super delicious, yum! We started our language class for woolof, learning the basic greeting that are the way of how the people start talking to one another. The culture here is so different to ours in so many ways, i feel as if this country values the characteristics that are now glanced; its quite interesting. I cant wait to be given a name by my homestay family and live with them for a whole week. It's only the beginning but already its a trip im glad to be on. 
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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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first look at sénégal

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

Description

Longest day of a trip that ive been on, seriously. The fatigue of taking two plane rides of 6hr duration in the same day takes a toll on you. The group has already made great connections and i feel so comfortable around them :] Sénégal has just blown me away; i got in at 4am […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Carolina valle

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Dear YakYak? Chère YakYak? Darling YakYak?

How/to whom is this addressed? Ah well. Today I believe may be counted as the first day in Senegal, although I count it as two days because we seemed to move faster than the sun on our trip here (what planet can keep pace with the excitement adventure brings?), and because we have been awake for an ungodly amount of time.

Is it love yet? I'm not quite sure if I believe in love at first sight, but I know I feel something. Anxiety? Nausea? I think I feel affection.I enjoyed walking in the streets today, I enjoyed stumbling over uncommon words and overly commonpiles of trash, and I adored getting laughed at. Truly, in all seriousness! I have never encountered such gentle, friendly laughing, forcing me to laugh at myself and forget that I might have accidentally called someone a dog when I meant to say good morning. Something so simple as a greeting, but as powerful as acknlowledging someones entire family. I want to wish peace on everyone's family, to make the countless children laugh, but for now all I can do is smile and hope that my good intentions are as apparent as the sweat stains on my shirt. Mostly, sincerely, I have hope. Today showed promise of something... delicious, Neehan (spelling?), and there is nothing more exciting than the hope of a promising tomorrow.

I love how everyone shakes hands. Please remind me when I get home to shake everyone's hand.

- Olivia, explorer extroardinaire and expert at eating with her hands.

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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A new frontier

Olivia Markbreiter,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

Dear YakYak? Chère YakYak? Darling YakYak? How/to whom is this addressed? Ah well. Today I believe may be counted as the first day in Senegal, although I count it as two days because we seemed to move faster than the sun on our trip here (what planet can keep pace with the excitement adventure brings?), […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Olivia Markbreiter

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French keyboards are so weird. Anyway, Senegal has been amazing thus far. It is such a culture shock. There are no traffic lights so drivers just honk as they approach an intersection. Today, we traveled from Dakar to Thies. The whole country it seems is covered in a clay-like pinky, browny sand, but the clothes people wear are so bright and clean. It is so much fun and I cannot wait for the rest of the trip.

ps. Postcards may take a while :)

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Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

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First Day

Alex Colley Hart,Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa, Summer 2010

Description

French keyboards are so weird. Anyway, Senegal has been amazing thus far. It is such a culture shock. There are no traffic lights so drivers just honk as they approach an intersection. Today, we traveled from Dakar to Thies. The whole country it seems is covered in a clay-like pinky, browny sand, but the clothes […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Alex Colley Hart

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