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July 22, 2012

The students final day in Senegal began with a Sunday service on the roof of Chez Goshen. We had a final Senegalese meal at the hotel and then traveled to Dakar. In Dakar we spent the afternoon on the beach at the most western point of the African continent. Around six o’clock we left for the airport and around seven o’clock Christine and the Yoder Linds waved good-bye and watched the last student pass into the airport.

July 22, 2012

Our second day back from service started off with more student presentations, which lasted most of the morning. In the afternoon we discussed re-entry and ended our formal sessions with another story time. In the evening we went to the home of Christine (our local coordinator) and David Yanon. We ate, celebrated, and did a little Senegalese dancing.  

July 21, 2012

Students were responsible for arranging their own transportation back to Thiès. They all did a fine job of it and began trickling back to our study term home in Thiès late Wednesday evening. By Thursday evening everyone had safely returned and were either resting at the hotel, Aux Berges du Ciel, or off visiting their host families from the study portion of SST. On Friday we began our official re-entry retreat. We started the day sharing about our service experiences and then, after a coffee break, moved into a story time. Students have been working on stories, being conscious of…

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July 17, 2012

A quick excursion to Denn Guèye on July 16 turned into a longer visit and a meal when it happened to fall upon the day of a naming ceremony for a new member of Aaron’s family. The child had been born one week prior to one of the women in Aaron’s concession and having survived the first week was being given a name. To celebrate we visited under the shade tree, shifting mats occasionally to keep in the shade, and drank tea. And, of course, there was a wonderful meal.

July 17, 2012

To celebrate the end of the school term, the Association Humanitaire les Amis de l’Ecole holds a festival for family and friends in the local community. The festival includes everything from traditional dances to karate displays and to break-dancing. As part of their service assignment Billy, Daniel, and Karin helped to organize this years event. They also participated in a theatrical number and a song and dance number.

July 17, 2012

From Ndombo Mbodjienne we traveled to our last service location in Saint Louis to spend a day with Amanda, Jess, and John. They are all three working at Yoonu Njub a mission outreach center of the evangelical church Assemblée des Frères. The center provides a host of services from computer literacy classes to cooking and tailoring for women and girls in the community. John’s host parents, Feluine and Malick Fall are the directors of the center and John and Jess have been teaching English and computer literacy skills. The center is also home to a small clinic where Amanda has…

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July 17, 2012

On Thursday, we traveled north to Ndombo Mbodjienne, a small village just south of Richard Toll on the Mauritanian border. Lydia and Maddie have been living there with Alionne Mbodj and his extended family. They have been doing some work at a small organization called AESCAW, which is an economic initiative run by local women that processes milk to produce a sweet yoghurt that they sell. This job comes with a lovely pink uniform and has taken up some small portion of their time. The first half of their service was defined by their host father’s participation in a local…

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July 17, 2012

The day after our visit to Dakar we headed southeast in search of Niakhar, the village where Jessie and Jessica have been spending service. Initially, plans were that the two students would be working in a clinic in Niakhar itself, but when those plans fell through our local contact Ferdenand helped get the two placed in a Clinic in the more remote village of Soma. They now spend Mondays and Tuesdays in Soma, which entails a 30 minute motorcycle ride down sandy pathways with backpacks, mattresses, and students strapped on tightly. We arrived on a Tuesday which meant that we…

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July 17, 2012

After a day of rest from our Segou visit, we left on July 2nd for a day trip to Dakar to visit Erin, Lynn, and Matt. Erin and Lynn have been working every morning in a center that provides breakfast, showers, medical care, and some entertainment for the Talibé. The Talibé are young boys, primarily from poor rural families, who live and study with an Islamic teacher called a Marabou. The Talibé typically spend the mornings and evenings memorizing the Koran and much of the rest of the day seeking donations of food and money to help support their dara (Koranic…

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July 14, 2012

On June 27th we began a four day trek to the southern village of Segou to visit Ali, Kate, Laurel, and Rebekah. Segou is located in the southeast of Senegal a few kilometers from the border with Mali. While Senegal is only about the size of Missouri, the trip highlighted the wide range of landscapes and associated cultures and livelihoods that define the country. The trip began with a thirty minute stop in Gambia where the six Yoder Linds renewed their passports. We then continued south and east for two days of driving. On the way we passed through the…

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