Our last night in Ndioum was like going to a middle-school dance. The high school English club told us to arrive around 6 pm. They ended up picking us up in a car and driving through Ndioum’s market to reach a beautiful house where the club had rented chairs and a DJ system. We were seated at a table that looked out onto a dance floor, bordered by plastic chairs and members of the English club. We waited for hours for a teacher to show-up. Finally we started late around 9:30. Almost everyone gave speeches, including ourselves. Then the club gave us a certificate of honor with a marabout stork in the background. The best part: the certificate was made out to “Mister Paul and his wife.” After a whirlwind of photo-taking, they ushered us into the car and drove us home. It was a great way to say good-bye to Ndioum.
Haby, her daughter Coumba (my namesake), and myself
Our favorite sheep: mama has a gris-gris around her neck
Paul organized a great blood testing tour of Diambo (Evan’s village) and Taredji (Jonno’s village). We tested 87 people. There was a 25-30% syphilis rate and one HIV-positive result.
We spent two nights in Diambo and one night in Taredji. In Taredji, Jonno’s MSS girls (many of them also participated in our girls leadership camp) performed a great theater sketch that attracted a huge crowd. We passed out condoms (in secret to many teenage boys, much in the manner of a drug-deal, and to not so many older women who thought the condoms were candy or medicine) in addition to teaching many adolescents how to put on a condom correctly.
This was a great project to end our service with, especially because it involved working with our two closest friends Evan and Jonno.
Fa Ly taking blood from a patient
Fa Ly taking a blood sample
Jonno explaining how HIV can/cannot be transmitted
Paul hands out peanuts to some waiting patients in Diambo
Evan's brother Sinthiane
Teaching kids about HIV/AIDS
Abused puppy finally gets to play (normally spends his day in a hole)
Hitch-hiking for a ride to Taredji! We ended up walking most of the way.
Girls demonstrate proper condom use
MSS girls ready to do theater
Crowd gathers in Taredji to watch the theater sketch about HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases
Catching up on some photos and blogging. These are from the first round of elections on February 26, 2012.
Lining up to vote
A woman dips her finger into the pink dye to show that she has voted.
A voter picks up a quarter-sheet paper for each candidate on her way to casting a ballot. Behind a curtain, the voter will put her preferred candidate into the envelope and dispose of the other sheets.
The elections are coming. If you look up Senegal in the news, you can read all about it. Wade’s candidacy was validated and Youssou Ndour’s was not. Protests are happening throughout the country in the large cities, however it is relatively quiet where we live. We finally got a little taste of election this past Friday when President Wade came to visit Ndioum and pray in our grand mosque. The opposition made a small appearance, waving their red flags and sporting red head- and arm- bands. Otherwise, there were women wearing complets made of Wade fabric, talibe waving signs supporting Wade, and cars covered in Wade pictures among other pro-Wade advertisements.
Macky Sall, a popular Pulaar candidate, also made an appearance–however we did not attend this rally but could hear the cars passing by with shouting supporters.
Our poll results of taxi drivers in Dakar during January are summarized here*:
Abdoulaye Wade 1
Macky Sall 1
Idrissa Seck 3
(*Note: This is not a large enough sample pool, and I think one driver sampled was from Guinea and could not even vote in Senegal, but still. There are also many other candidates, many of whom are popular among different populations–something that is not reflected by our poll.)
Green Hills of Africa--Ernest Hemmingway
Exile and the Kingdom--Camus
Hot, Flat, and Crowded--Thomas Friedman
The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup--ed. Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey (pretentious title but good essays--Dave Eggers nails the US on soccer)
On Writing--Stephen King
The Stranger--Camus, again
When you are Engulfed in Flames--David Sedaris (is it weird that he makes me miss the US, characters and all?).
The Waste Land and Other Writings--T.S. Eliot
Bean Trees--Barbara Kingsolver
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter--Sue Monk Kidd
Mountains Beyond Mountains--Tracy Kidder
The End of Poverty--Jeffrey Sachs
Secret Life of Bees--Sue Monk Kidd
Love in the Time of Cholera--Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Unaccustomed Earth--Jhumpa Lahiri
When you are Engulfed in Flames--David Sedaris
The Good Earth--Pearl S. Buck
In Defense of Food--Michael Pollan
The Memory Keeper's Daughter--Kim Edwards
Infidel--Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Half the Sky--Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Pigs in Heaven--Barbara Kingsolver
Botany of Desire--Michael Pollan
Caged Virgin--Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Reading Lolita in Tehran--Azar Nafisi
Daisy Miller--Henry James
Vagina Monologues--Eve Ensler
And Then There were None--Agatha Christie
The Fountainhead--Ayn Rand
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close--Jonathan Safran Foer
Exile and the Kingdom--Camus
Mosquito: A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe--Andrew Spielman and Michael D'Antonio
Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa--Katherine A Dettwyler