Category Archives: HE and EE in Ndioum

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

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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


Baby Vaccinations and Weighing

One of my favorite activities during my service was helping with baby vaccinations and weighings.

A baby from the "jeere" (bush) village of Kodiolel that just got vaccinated

Baby being weighed!

Coumba vaccinating a child in Ndioum

Coumba and relais weighing an infant

Polio oral vaccination

Bush vaccination village of Kodiolel

Kodiolel mothers

Northern Thanksgiving and Moving Forward

Happy Tamkarit (Islamic New Year’s)!  An update on our lives: We just finished up the TB project.  The training and forum book-ended the two weekends surrounding Thanksgiving.  The PCVs of every region of Senegal throw an annual party for the rest of PC Senegal.  Our region holds an annual Thanksgiving party.  Around 35 people attended!


Happy Thanksgiving!

The menu included: 1 turkey, 6 chickens, 3 guinea fowl, fruit salad, mac-and-cheese, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, stuffing, squash rolls, biscuits, horchata, pumpkin doughnuts, apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, brownies, gazelle beer, and g-sap (gin and bissap).

The poultry took several days to find (turkey are more common than one would guess), one day to kill/pluck/clean/brine, and another day of deep-frying with our pulley-stove system set-up on the basketball court.

Friends came from all over, visiting the north of Senegal for the first time.  Even Sheep came to celebrate.  And after stuffing ourselves silly, some took a late-afternoon nap to sleep off the effects of tryptophan and others attempted to hit the turkey piñata.  All in all, I think we threw a pretty good party.


Since Thanksgiving, we have been thinking much about our future.  The people in my life are doing so well.  Paul has been admitted (and has accepted the admission) to the Bryn Mawr post-baccalaureate program, an intensive one-year program near Philadelphia where he will take all the prerequisites for medical school.  What is great is that this program offers linkages to medical schools, schools that will admit any Bryn Mawr student who does well during the program.  Also congratulations to Jess for passing her bar exam in California where the passing rate is just barely over 50%!  I’ve finally finished my grad school applications, at least for this round (made a turkey piñata out of my statement of purpose drafts…felt good to say the least).


Health workers discussing TB

Thank you to those who donated to my TB project!  The training and forum were a great success.  Health workers throughout the Commune of Ndioum have learned important concepts about tuberculosis: knowledge that will motivate them to teach others within their communities and work together towards decreasing TB.  Please see the “Complete Projects tabs for some more info and pictures.

MSS Finalists go SHOPPING!

Here are some pictures of the 3 finalists going shopping at our local bookstore for their $30 worth of school supplies under the supervision of the middle school’s PTA president.  The girls were excited to receive their new supplies.  Thanks to those who donated to make this possible!

Donate now to decrease tuberculosis!

Source: WHO, Global TB Control 2010 report

I am once again asking for money.  However, this time is for a large project that is completely community-initiated.  The chief of the health post in Ndioum approached me asking for help for a project of his.  He was recently trained in Mbour on tuberculosis and wants to pass this knowledge to Ndioum and the two surrounding communities of Toulde Galle and Gamadji Sare.  This project has two phases: (1) health worker training on how to best control TB and (2) a social forum where important community members, health workers, and TB patients talk about the issues of the disease.  The chief states that people in the area often do not come to the health post to receive treatment due to some of the negative stigmatizations associated with the disease.  This project hopes to mobilize the entire community towards decreasing the prevalence of this disease.  I need to raise $1222.83 for this project.

Please donate and see a more detailed description of the project here!