The starving season

We’re over a week into Ramadan now, which means every day around sundown I begin to teeter from side to side, eliciting concern in Maddy and laughter in our host family.  Maddy and I are both fasting, and though we’re not going as far as some—the old ladies that spit every few steps as to not swallow any saliva, for instance—we are abstaining from eating or drinking from sun up to sun down.  At first this involved getting up at around five to gorge ourselves and then go back to sleep, but as the days wear on I find myself too tired to join Maddy as she groggily shuffles to the kitchen every morning for breakfast.


It’s been our intent to do a shoe distribution for Talibe, but we had been waiting on the shoes to arrive on the “next car from Dakar”—a more or less mythical event, often discussed but seldom seen—until a few days ago.  Lauren, our ancienne, had asked for the shoes to be sent over, but they didn’t arrive until after she had COS’d.   Of course, we were more than happy to help out: we gave out shoes to 15 children this week with the help of my counterpart and lifeline, Mme Ly, and are thinking about ways to organize more distributions in the future.  Anyone who’s interested in donating some old shoes let us know; once we have the specifics, who to send them to in the US, etc, we’ll put up an additional blog entry.  There are about 4 Daras (schools for talibe) in our quartier alone (of the 6 here in Podor), and the school pictured has around 60 kids.  Suffice it to say, if we want to ensure that every foot in Podor gets covered, we have a lot of work to do.  Pictures of the distribution can be checked out to the right.

This morning I went to the post office and picked up a pair of wonderful care-packages.  That puts travel time at about a month for your package, Joanna, and just under that for yours, Janine.  Thank you both; we’ll be eagerly consuming their contents during our “break the fast/ write our quarterly reports party,” sometime next week.

Much love,



2 responses to “The starving season

  • Janine

    Paul- Thank you for your post. Please let us know where to send shoes and what sizes to send. Not too much food in my package — wishing you patience during Ramadan (I get really irritable when I am hungry). Lots of love to you both – Janine

  • enantiomurrs

    hellooo! so i realize this is an old post, but please let me know where i can send some shoes! 🙂 thanks paul! hope you and maddy are doing well, and having a wonderful new year!

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