Our first service visit this summer was to Grand Mbao where Ben and Christina are living for service term. Grand Mbao has become something of a suburb of Dakar. A one time fishing village, it is nestled on the coast just east of the capital city. Narrow sandy streets connect neighborhoods of long time residents and many of the people we met noted that the town is more like a village than an extension of Dakar. Both Ben and Christina are formally doing service at the local public school, Elhadj Babacar Cissé. While school is now out of session in Senegal, we are partnering with the Association Humanitaire les Amis de l’Ecole, which advocates for the school, looks for material and nonmaterial support, and also runs an after school program. The two SSTers work in the after school program teaching English to an eager group of young women.
Both Ben and Christina are living with Muslim families. Ben lives with the N’Doye family. His host father is an administrator at the school. Christina lives with the Sembere family in a concession with a view of the beach from her rooftop and front patio.