Batik

Staying cool

Well, not exactly. We arrived at Chez Jacqueline expecting a batik lesson, which for us meant using dye and hot wax to create beautiful, one of a kind, wall hangings and cloth. After receiving some basic instruction from Jacqueline, we came to realize that ‘batik’ is used as a more general term to include a … Keep reading »

Dakar and a Visit from Tom Meyers

Group picture in front of the African Renaissance statue

We started the third week of Study with a trip to Dakar. We began with a visit to the African Renaissance Statue finished in 2010 to celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary of independence from French colonial rule. It sits on top of a huge hill on the edge of the city overlooking the ocean. Larger … Keep reading »

Touba

Unloading at Touba

After a week of classroom lecture exploring the intersections of religion, politics and history in Senegal, we climbed back into our trusty bus and headed eastward to Touba. Touba is the holy city of Mouridism, a large Islamic Sufi brotherhood founded in 1883 by Cheikh Amadou Bamba. The city is considered sacred and constitutes an … Keep reading »

Talibé

The Talibé waiting for some breakfast

On Friday of our second week in Thiès, we spent the morning and afternoon with the Talibé in a variety of settings. The Talibé are boys from between three to fourteen years of age who often come from rural settings to live with a Marabout (Sufi Muslim teacher) in what is called a Daara or … Keep reading »

Lac Rose

Lac Rose

On Monday of our second full week in Senegal we visited Lac Rose, spent some time on the beach, and attended mass at Keur Moussa, a Catholic monastery, where we heard traditional harp-like instruments, called “kora,” in the service.

Gorée Island

Billy

We visited Gorée Island on a very hot Friday at the end of our first full week in Senegal. Gorée Island is located about 3 kilometers east of Dakar. In the past it was an important trading center and military outpost. It currently serves as a symbolic evocation of the slave trade. The one time … Keep reading »

Finding Homes in Thiès

Jessie with host father Diédhiou and little sister

On Friday we traveled from Dakar to Thiès for orientation. On Saturday evening students met their host families. This weekend, Thiès was also hosting the 50th anniversary of the Baptist Mission in Senegal. We got to attend their opening event of choral singing and dancing on Friday night. Several of the host families are associated … Keep reading »

Bien Arrivé

Layover

We picked up the students around 10:00 p.m. this Thursday evening. We were a little late because our bus driver had fallen asleep, but the students were all there and so was all their luggage. They had made their way, or it had been made for them, to a holding area with several other groups … Keep reading »