Over the weekend and into the early days of this week students departed for service. Alex and Erin stayed in Thiès where they are serving at the Bartime Hospital, a project funded by Mission Inter-Senegal (MISE). Micah left for Dakar where he is serving at an orphanage caring for 40 infants and hanging out at the Centre Culturele Blaise Senghor. Ben and Christina left for Grand Mboa where they are working with an after school program. Ally and Theo traveled to St. Louis where they are working in a center for young women teaching English and computer science. Dominique and…
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On May 22 and 23 we spent time experiencing the arts in Senegal, specifically music and dance. On Thursday we visited the Centre Culturele Blaise Senghor in Dakar. At the center we were hosted by professional musicians and dancers. Some of us played music and others danced under the tutelage of the Senegalese artists. On Friday we visited the Village Artisanal in Thiés where everyone got a chance to practice the djembé. You can access some video from our day at the Cultural Center here. <iframe width=”640″ height=”390″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/kNRozvWM5Wc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Our third week started out with a lecture on religion in Senegal. Then on Wednesday we traveled to the holy city of Touba where we toured the main Mosque of the Mouride brotherhood. The Mouride brotherhood is an Islamic Sufi order that was founded in 1883 in Senegal by Amadou Bamba. Millions of Senegalese and international members of the faith travel to Touba every year. After the mosque we were hosted by the grandson of the current calif (leader) of the Mouride Brother, Serigne Sidi Al Moukhtar Mbacke. Leadership is a matter of lineage, so our host was the grandson…
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On the 15th and 16th of May, we traveled to Dakar to visit Gorée Island and learn more about the impact of slavery both domestically, in Senegal, and in terms of the role that memorials like Gorée Island play for the African Diaspora and other inheritors of the colonial legacy. On Thursday we met with Ibrahima Thiaw in his archaeologylaboratory at the University of Dakar. He is Professor of Archaeology at IFAN, a research institute at the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal, where he directs both the Archaeology Laboratory and the Musée Théodore Monod d’Art africain. On Friday…
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Part of SST is developing close relationships with the cohort of people who are encountering the unfamiliar with you. During Study we gather three times for an evening meal at David and Kendra’s home to affirm and celebrate that collective experience. In small groups, students are tasked with shopping for and preparing the main meal. The first meal consisted of salads and Ukrainian influenced potato dumplings.
Much of SST is about being present in a different context of everyday life. Grace is being present in the Neto household. Dominique is being present in the Diop household.
On Thursday and Friday we went to Saint. Louis. Saint-Louis is located at the mouth of the Senegal River a few short kilometers from Mauritania. It is the site of West Africa’s first French settlement and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. We stayed in the old town center located on an island in the Senegal River. On Thursday we visited Gaston Berger University, the second largest university in Senegal. We were greeted warmly by Nino Mendy a political scientist and Director of Communication and Marketing at the University. Mr. Mendy lectured on the political history of Senegal after independence….
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Students participated in a two day orientation over the weekend before meeting their families on Saturday evening. Orientation on Friday included some basic introductions to the Senegalese society and culture from Pastor François Bagne and Cécile Ndione and a visit to a local clinic where Dr. Adamson gave us some pointers on staying healthy in Senegal. On Saturday morning SSTers headed out in groups of 3 or 4 on a tour and treasure hunt of downtown Thiès that ended at Chez Goshen where we had a meal together with a number of Senegalese hosts who will be impacting our experience…
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Goshen SSTers arrived in Dakar around 8:00 p.m., made it out of the airport around 10:30, and were arranging mosquito nets in Thiès around midnight. They had been in route for some 32 hours but were lively and in good spirits. Karsten said he felt remarkably refreshed!
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.