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An SST requirement is for each student to prepare a major project that focuses on some aspect of Senegalese culture. We spent one day hearing short presentations from each student. These projects included observations, interviews, creative work, and some research.
Students returned from their service assignments to a conference center (Le Phare de l’Espérance – Beacon of Hope) in Dakar. The center is situated at the foot of Le Phare (lighthouse) near the westernmost point of Africa.
Andrea, Alysha, Katie, and Kristina are working with an organization called “10,000 Girls” which is headquartered in Kaolack. They spent 2 weeks of their time helping with camp activities in Toubacouta which is about 2 hours south of Kaolack, near the border with Gambia. They jointly wrote the following description of their activities.
Noah and Josh are located in Segou, a small village 30 km, on a very poor road, south of Kedougou. It is a beautiful mountainous area near the border with Guinea and also not far from Mali. There are several waterfalls nearby. Excerpts from their early journals describe a bit of their situation.
Rosanna and Lindsay are located in Djilor in the delta region of the River Saloum. It is also the birthplace of Senegal’s first president, Leopold Sedar Senghor. In fact their host family lives next door to the Senghor birthplace. Excerpts from their journals describe some of their experiences.
Mary and Kristen are located at Grand Mbao on the outskirts of Dakar. They work with an organization called “Les Amis de l’Ecole” (Friends of the School) that provides extra opportunities for students after regular school hours and during the vacation months. They describe their activities in the following journal excerpts.
Patrick has remained in Thiès for his service assignment, but in doing so has also moved to a new host family. He has been assigned to Barthimée clinic, part of a mission program, which is also on the verge of being recognized officially as a hospital. His days are varied, as described in journal excerpts below. Patrick, a trained EMT, has observed and given some assistance in surgeries, and he has had at least one chance to accompany other medical staff on a one-day visit to a local village to help administer polio vaccine.
Jeff and Chris are located in Fandéne, a small village just 7 km outside of Thiès. They live and work with a family that is part of a partnership with Heifer International. Excerpts from their journals tell more about their typical day.