Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-08-05 10:57:57
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-08-05 16:57:57
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Photos of the group as they exited customs at Dulles Airport in DC. [post_title] => Airport pictures! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => airport-pictures [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 14:50:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 21:50:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=89960 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 223 [name] => Senegal Summer 4-week [slug] => senegal-summer-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 223 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 253 [count] => 69 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12.1 [cat_ID] => 223 [category_count] => 69 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Senegal Summer 4-week [category_nicename] => senegal-summer-4-week [category_parent] => 253 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/senegal-summer-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Senegal Summer 4-week )
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Airport pictures!

Liz Mendez,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

Photos of the group as they exited customs at Dulles Airport in DC.

Posted On

08/5/13

Author

Liz Mendez

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2013-07-28 10:50:48
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-28 16:50:48
    [post_content] => Hi Senegal Parents,

The Senegal group has landed safely in DC! Students are all on their way home.

Best,

Boulder administration
    [post_title] => Senegal has landed in the US!
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Senegal Summer 4-week

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Senegal has landed in the US!

Eva Vanek,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

Hi Senegal Parents, The Senegal group has landed safely in DC! Students are all on their way home. Best, Boulder administration

Posted On

07/28/13

Author

Eva Vanek

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-07-27 22:21:57
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-28 04:21:57
    [post_content] => It's hard to believe that the end of our journey together is imminent. As I type wearing a newly tailored dress in Senegalese fabric, I sit in front of the window at our Dakar Program House, the song of Islam sifts in from a nearby mosque. Your children are out taking their final strolls down the sandy alley-ways, picking up last minute gifts, stopping by the tailor's, taking it all in for one final afternoon. This evening we'll gather on our beach spot for one final ceremony, go out to dinner, and head to the airport. I will be escorting everyone home.

You may wonder how your children are doing, one month later. I think I can safely say that this last week has been one of our best. About a week ago, we delivered a session addressing the underlying dynamics of the group where instructors guided students through the framework of "non-violent communication". This was a turning point in our journey together as a group, one that brought a sense of inclusiveness and kindness, one that taught us that conflict or confrontation can actually serve as a gateway for deeper, more intimate, and authentic relationships. I saw a new level of connection emerge within the group, kids were more inclined towards laughter, and leaned towards a greater sense of well-being. This is also a typical outcome of the last week, it's the time when students and instructors alike can lean back into all the hard work of the previous weeks, the foundation had been set, a lot of skills taught, self-reliance gained, and we then had the space to enjoy ourselves in a new way. Students have reflected a lot in recent days upon all that they stumbled upon here as we gathered at a lovely beach resort outside of the city of St. Louis, just a few kilometers from the border of Mauritania. We shared with each other some of the nuggets of treasure that Senegal brought us. Sometimes the most challenging moments brought the greatest lessons, other times, it was a smaller moment, the touch of a child, breaking fast with a home-stay family come sun down, a cool evening breeze after a sweltering day. We survived it all. It wasn't always graceful, but in the end, I think everyone can say they've swayed with Senegal and allowed her to shift their perspectives not only on the world but also on themselves.

We've thought about you too. Yesterday we took a moment thinking about you thinking about us coming home. We've wondered how your summer has gone as well. We have so many stories to tell, so many pictures to share, but please be patient with your children. Sometimes it takes a few weeks for their experiences to emerge. Sometimes they experience a deep dissatisfaction with how things are done in the States. Sometimes they return home feeling guilty or judgemental. This is all a part of the process. And just as we said when we first arrived and it was all so new and challenging, we can say as we return home, "This too shall pass". The experience of Senegal has really just begun. For some students, it's a relationship that will last a lifetime. For some, the lessons learned here will shape them in new ways. For others, the return home is less dramatic and will flow with ease.

I'm happy to say I'm returning your children to you a little healthier than they've been during the past four weeks, a little sweatier then when they arrived in DC, a lot more traveled, a lot wiser, more sensitive to the power of personal development, spirituality, and community. We hope you enjoy their home coming. And we can't thank you enough for sharing your kids with us this summer. They made this July an incredible journey for us well. They are an incredibly kind, compassionate, out-going, intelligent, and talented group of young adults.

For the last time from Senegal, Jam Rekk.

Megan
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Senegal Summer 4-week

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As we depart…

Megan E. Fettig,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

It’s hard to believe that the end of our journey together is imminent. As I type wearing a newly tailored dress in Senegalese fabric, I sit in front of the window at our Dakar Program House, the song of Islam sifts in from a nearby mosque. Your children are out taking their final strolls down […]

Posted On

07/27/13

Author

Megan E. Fettig

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2013-07-25 16:05:55
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-25 22:05:55
    [post_content] => Dear Senegal Students & Families,

This weekend marks the end of our Senegal program and students will soon return home to share tales with each of you.

We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day and we will be in contact if there are any suspected delays.

We wish all students a great trip home. Please leave us a voice message on extension 30 if you are not able to reach us during office hours. We will be checking our messages throughout the evening.

Sincerely,

BoulderAdmin

To check on the status of the group’s international flight, please refer to:

http://www.flysaa.com/us/en/home!loadHome.action?request_locale=en_US&splashLocale=EN&splashCntry=US&isCookieEnabled=false

The students are traveling home on the following South African Flight:

Returning Flight:

July 28th, 2013

South African Airways #SAA 207

Depart: Dakar (DKR) 2:00am

Arrive: Washington DC (IAD) 6:25am
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Senegal Summer 4-week

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Return Flight Details

Dragons Admin,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

Dear Senegal Students & Families, This weekend marks the end of our Senegal program and students will soon return home to share tales with each of you. We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day and we will be in contact if there are any suspected delays. We […]

Posted On

07/25/13

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-25 14:40:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-25 20:40:40
    [post_content] => I cannot express my gratitude for the amount of love and spiritual guidance I received while visiting Babacars fathers village, Dene last week.  Dene seemed as if it was located upon a cloud. the white sand created a warm and comforting ground beneath our feet and the neverending song and chant that rang through the night sky and lasted till the sun began to rise from the horizon offered a soothing melody as i slipped into a dream state each evening. The breeze from the ocean drifted through the trees, enveloping us in a perfect temperature. One of my favorite moments in Dene, or a continuous moment was the pure bliss that I experienced watching Babacars father, who believes himself to be the reincarnation of the prophet of Islam, lead his entire extended family in prayer and song, reciting proudly and gracefully verses of the Quran. Each woman was covered from head to toe in beautiful white fabric that framed their glowing faces. Some of the men had dreadlocks that fell down their backs and all were also dressed in fully white outfits. The singing and dance took place under a canvas tent in the center of the village. Their love for one another and their religion was incredibly evident. There is so much I could say and details i would still love to share but I cant thank the village of Dene enough for their kindness and guidance that they shared for the two short days that we were there.
    [post_title] => A spiritual sound
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Senegal Summer 4-week

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A spiritual sound

Fiona Fischer,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

I cannot express my gratitude for the amount of love and spiritual guidance I received while visiting Babacars fathers village, Dene last week.  Dene seemed as if it was located upon a cloud. the white sand created a warm and comforting ground beneath our feet and the neverending song and chant that rang through the […]

Posted On

07/25/13

Author

Fiona Fischer

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2013-07-25 14:40:28
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    [post_content] => we were only joking about starting a bon fire at first.  we had this romanticised notion of a blazing fire underneth the starry sky in this wonderfull village of Dene.  we  looked around for some logs and with our fake sign language pointed at stacked logs next to the chef. He masterfully chopped the logs with precision into perfect halves. After retrieving all the logs, we headed toward the center of the village. On the cool sand we proceeded to set up the logs in a cone formation, with help from the Dene community. The locals threw hot coals and newspaper under the logs, and fanned it until flames emerged. THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF AN EPIC RELIGIOUS CEREMONY/PARTY!

The community all gathered around the fire, began to recite some of the Koran and welcomed us. They chanted and danced in a call and response system. Ibou really took charge of the ceremony by leading the chants. He shouted at the top of his lungs: ALHAMDOULILAHI!!

Later that night when the fire died down, we walked over to a neighboring hut where we heard a guitar. Into the late hours of the night we sat singing along with the guitar and djembe.

In the words of the Dene community: BISMI ALLAH, WELCOME!

 
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Senegal Summer 4-week

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Alhamdoulilahi (Welcome)

Anteneh Mekonnen, Jack deMeo,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

we were only joking about starting a bon fire at first.  we had this romanticised notion of a blazing fire underneth the starry sky in this wonderfull village of Dene.  we  looked around for some logs and with our fake sign language pointed at stacked logs next to the chef. He masterfully chopped the logs […]

Posted On

07/25/13

Author

Anteneh Mekonnen, Jack deMeo

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-25 14:36:58
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    [post_content] => Moments:

 

the circular patterns in the sand formed by feet  soulfully stomping around a bonfire

singers bellowing praises of Allah at the moon, arms raised to the stars

the silence that hangs in the air after a mother has shared with us stories of lost loved ones

the toothy grin of children as you pick them up and toss them high

snap, snap, alhumdulilah, snap, snap; songs of devotion

the stickiness of mango juice lingering on your fingers hours after you've eaten it, reminding you of a sweet moment

greeting an old man and taking his hand

the way the wind serves as a warning of an impending downpour

 

 
    [post_title] => Lasting Impressions
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Senegal Summer 4-week

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Lasting Impressions

Claire Widman; Julia Rosenheim,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

Moments:   the circular patterns in the sand formed by feet  soulfully stomping around a bonfire singers bellowing praises of Allah at the moon, arms raised to the stars the silence that hangs in the air after a mother has shared with us stories of lost loved ones the toothy grin of children as you […]

Posted On

07/25/13

Author

Claire Widman; Julia Rosenheim

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-25 14:36:49
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    [post_content] => There are three prominent issues that have arose constantly during our stay: poverty, health problems, and education.

We have learned about the background of each of these problems as a group from lessons, but individually we have had firsthand experiences with all of them.  In this Yak I want to explain some of the background of education in Senegal, and one of my personal experiences.

 

Similar to the United States, there is elementary school, middle school, high school, and then college (university).  In the urban cities like Dakar there are good schools and universities, whereas in the rural areas like Mantiankani there are very sparse schools which service villages that may be 15 kilometers (about 7 miles) away.  Especially in the village schools, many kids drop out of school long before college and even high school. High schools are less accesible, as students usually need to travel and stay in the larger towns near their village to attend.  Furthermore, women are taken as wifes as early as 14 years of age, preventing them from continuing their education.  Even the boys find that they need to work on the farms with some source of income instead of attending school.

 

However, there is also problems with education even at the highest level, in high school and college.  My personal experience involves my host brother from Yoff, Adbullah (ab-doo-lie).  Originally from Dene, his family had sent him to Saint-Louis to study, then to Yoff for high school and college.  18 years old and with 6 more years of schooling ahead of him, Adbullah had spent the majority of his life away from home.  I was lucky enough to be staying at his compound the same time he was taking one of the final standardized exams.  Taken after France, Senegal has multiple tests along the path of education that, if you fail, means you cannot pass on to the next year (the most well known is the final exam of high school, '' le baccalaureat '' or just ''le bac'').

Adbullah, currently in deuxieme, or his second to last year of high school, failed the end of the year test the previous time and, as a result, had to repeat the whole year.  He told me that everyone else is on vacation, but he and there deuxieme eleves have to take the test.  After taking the test, he waited a whole day (from morning until 7 PM, where he said something about finding out whether you passed or fail on the television, but that may have been my somewhat shaky french).  The day after the test, I found him pacing on the balcony of his compound, clutching his phone with a preoccupied expression on  his face.  Obviously an intelligent and hardworking student, I had very little doubt in my mind that he would fail the test.

 

We left Adbullah in Dakar that morning to go to his hometown, Dene.  In two days, he came to Dene to visit his family and stay there on his short vacation.  He came at night, and I greeted him and gave him a big hug.  Earnestly, I asked him if he had passed.  He had not.  I gave him another hug, expecting distress and sadness.  Surprisingly, he laughed and said '' C'est pas grave c'est pas grave mon ami" which translates to "it's fine it's fine my friend."  Apparently, because his grades were good enough, his teachers said that he could move on to the next grade.  I had previously discussed the education system with him, and he expressed his significant annoyance with the system.  He said that many people fail, and that there would be much crying on the night of the results.

 

What was the most upsetting about Adbullah's story was revealed when he returned to Dene.  I went around with him, greeting the family and close friends he had not seen for almost a year.  He got such pleasure and smiles out of seeing them that I could tell he really loved Dene and the people there.  Unfortunately, he had to chose education over staying home, a choice that shouldn't have to be made.
    [post_title] => Education in Senegal
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Senegal Summer 4-week

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Education in Senegal

Theo Mendez,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

There are three prominent issues that have arose constantly during our stay: poverty, health problems, and education. We have learned about the background of each of these problems as a group from lessons, but individually we have had firsthand experiences with all of them.  In this Yak I want to explain some of the background […]

Posted On

07/25/13

Author

Theo Mendez

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-25 12:49:17
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    [post_content] => Dear Senegal Students & Families,
This weekend marks the end of our Senegal program and students will soon return home to share tales with each of you.
We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day and we will be in contact if there are any suspected delays.
We wish all students a great trip home. Please leave us a voice message on extension 30 if you are not able to reach us during office hours. We will be checking our messages throughout the evening.
Sincerely,
BoulderAdmin
To check on the status of the group’s international flight, please refer to:
http://www.flysaa.com/us/en/home!loadHome.action?request_locale=en_US&splashLocale=EN&splashCntry=US&isCookieEnabled=false
The students are traveling home on the following South African Flight:
Returning Flight:
July 28th, 2013
South African Airways #SAA 207
Depart: Dakar (DKR) 2:00am
Arrive: Washington DC (IAD) 6:25am
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Senegal Summer 4-week

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Return Flight Information

Dragons Admin,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

Dear Senegal Students & Families, This weekend marks the end of our Senegal program and students will soon return home to share tales with each of you. We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day and we will be in contact if there are any suspected delays. We […]

Posted On

07/25/13

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-25 10:52:50
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    [post_content] => As our time in Senegal comes to an end, we are all taking the time to reflect on our experiences: We all recount the good and the bad, and promise to never forget the relationships we have formed, the things we have learned, and the culture we have devled into. This part of the trips is bittersweet. I cannot wait to return home to my family, and enjoy my last month of summer. However, I fear that I will forget the significant and beautiful things that I have learned here. I will strive to remember the lessons that I have learned here. I have learned to appreciate everything so much more. I have learned that kindness, relationships, love, and attention are the key to happiness. I have learned so much about myself, and how I want to be in this world. This may sound incredibly cliche, but all this is true. To be completely honest, when I first arrived here, I was utterly uncomfortable and I felt completely out of place. I stick out like a sore thumb, all these people are taking to me in a language that I do not understand, and it is literally so hot that I could feel the sweat dripping down my forehead. I was pushed so far out of my comfort zone, but after a while, I realized that that was truly a beautiful thing. I learned to accept the discomfort. I accepted the copious flies and the aggrivating misquito bites. I accepted the fact that I did not understand most people. In fact, I embraced these things, and that is why I learned. I learned that life is not supposed to be comfortable. Life is hard. I have always lived in a safe bubble, constantly protected by friends, family, and mentors. Here I had none of these things. Not to mention the constant stomache aches due to divergent types of food. Anyways, I have fallen in love with all of these things... except the insects. Ive learned to accept the heat, I love the language, the food is amazing, and the people are the icing on the cake. Their devotion to hard work and religion dumbfounds me. Were also here during the month of Ramadan, and I find fasting incredible. People go all day without eating or drinking, but they continue to work in the fields, attend their jobs, cook for others, and help their children. My problems back home are literally nothing compared to the difficulties faced here, and Ill never stop appreciating everything that I have learned. Thank you Senegal for an amazing experience, and thank you for teaching me everything that you have.
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Reflections

Audrey Darnis,Senegal Summer 4-week

Description

As our time in Senegal comes to an end, we are all taking the time to reflect on our experiences: We all recount the good and the bad, and promise to never forget the relationships we have formed, the things we have learned, and the culture we have devled into. This part of the trips […]

Posted On

07/25/13

Author

Audrey Darnis

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