Good-bye Ndioum and COS in Dakar

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

English club

English Club

Certificate of honor from English Club

The next morning we got into a 5-am sept-place and headed to Dakar.  We stayed with our friend Mike Toso in Dakar.  As Paul says, the COS (Close of service) process is somewhat like going to the DMV everyday for a week.  We had a checklist written in size 8 font that filled an entire page and required the signatures of some 15 administrative officers in the PC office, showing that we’d completed certain paperwork or done certain tasks.

We visited Ngekhokh, Thies, and have spent most days on the beach drinking beers, eating seafood, and reminiscing with other PCVs.  It is hard to believe that our two years are up.  For now, goodbye Senegal.

Faty with baby Faty and baby Ramata

Ngor Village, Dakar

Dakar from Mike's roof

Dakar from Mike's roof

Dried spices and foods in the marketplace

Meat vendor

Fish stand

Puffer fish!

Goodbye Senegal.


3 responses to “Good-bye Ndioum and COS in Dakar

  • enantiomurrs

    holy cow… im excited to see you guys back in the states! i’ve loved following your adventures and all the amazing work you’ve both done while in senegal. i can’t wait to see you again!

  • Andrew Wilson (@AndrewPWilson)

    Maddy and Paul,

    It has been quite a few years since I was in Fuuta but I can definitely related to your post. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer there – 2 years near Ouro Sogui and one as PCVL in Ndioum (quite a few years back now though..) Luckily, I still have occasion to get back as my wife is Senegalese though I don’t really get up north as my wife is from Sebikhotane.

    Seeing as you left not long ago, I’m sure you are acutely aware of the recent floods there and the terrible toll they are taking. To try to make a small contribution to the relief efforts, my wife has just launched an online fundraising campaign for this:

    I realize that is entirely out of the blue but if there is anything you can do to help, it would be tremendously appreciated. If not, if you could at least help spread the work to your own networks, that would be great as well.

    A jaramma 🙂

    • Maddy

      Jam walli Andrew!

      I hope you are well and I apologize for the late reply. I’ve been moving around quite a bit and haven’t really settled down until now. It is always so great to hear from RPCVs who are from the Fuuta. And its so great that you get the chance to go back frequently to Senegal. When did you serve? I’ve wondered often about the people who have lived in Ndioum and the Fuuta in past years. Was Jake/almudo the dog there when you were there?

      I have been reading about the flooding and hearing about it from friends who have family members affected by the flooding itself, both in Senegal and even in Cameroon. I will spread the word about your wife’s site–its great that she is taking the initiative to do this and I wish her the best of luck. If I can come up with any other ideas for fundraising where I am now, I’ll let you know. Many of my colleagues in Los Angeles work in Cameroon and have been worried about the communities there too.

      Bonne chance, ajaaraama e salmini debbo maa,


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