Monday, July 04, 2011

Checking in and Feeling Itchy

Wow, what a whirlwind the last few days have been. I feel like we've already been gone for 2 weeks. I will be posting more in the next few days... I'm hoping for steady electricity.

The Senegalese students from Mame Yelli Badiane are really amazing. They are funny, tolerant of the language differences, and sweet. They've been helping me immensely with my Wolof. My goal is to be able to write a blog post in Wolof by the end of next week. I'm picking up a huge amount of vocabulary every day and I have at least 10 willing tutors.

Throwing two totally groups of totally different (and I can't express that enough) students together into this social-educational exchange has been a trip. They are communicating through dance moves... quite the sight to see. I could write a book about some of the ups and downs over the last few days.

While the students have counterparts, I've found that I do too. There are two English teachers from Mame Yelli Bandiane who are working with us and we are exchanging a lot words, stories, and lesson plans. Here is quick one:
In Wolof, the word for "cat" is "moush," which is pronounced "moose." When the teacher told me that I laughed and said that if I ever saw a cat as large as a moose I would be really scared because I don't like cats very much. He had no idea what I was talking about because, duh, there are no moose in Senegal, so the word moose doesn't exist in Wolof. I drew this picture:
They didn't believe me and just kept laughing at the picture. Even the teacher was like, "No, no, a moose is a cat. She is just pulling your leg." 

I will post profiles of the amazing Mame Yelli Badiane students tomorrow. Until then, I am going to scratch my bug bites. Thank goodness I am taking malaria pills because I think one of the hundreds of bites I have must contain malaria. If you'd like to see a little piece of what I'm going through, check it out:
That's just one piece of my thigh, y'all. 

I hope everyone had (or is having? I don't know what day it is...) a great Fourth of July. We drew a flag on a piece of notebook paper, put our hand on our hearts, and sang the national anthem for everyone. They sang theirs to us afterwards. It was a nice moment that kind of symbolizes what this is all about. 

Tomorrow we install the water purification system at Africulturban. 

Love you all and I miss you a lot. 
Basuba fanaane (good night)


Anonymous said...

wow! is there anyway you can put this on the UYFA travel blog?
It would be cool. Thanks

Lisa said...

I am so glad you are having a good experience Jen! Keep up with the blog! Miss ya! -Lisa

Mr. Weber said...

I'm waiting for that post in Wolof!

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