Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Women of Senegal – Part 3

For those women who work their butts off in the kitchen, while their men watch TV. For those girls who work all day in the fields, while their fathers sit in the shade. For those who slave away in an overtly sexist, die-hard misogynist country.

Para aquelas mulheres que trabalham duro na cozinha, enquanto os homens assistem TV. Para aquelas meninas que trabalham o dia inteiro no campo, enquanto seus pais descansam na sombra. Para aquelas que são escravizadas em um país abertamente sexista, e extremamente misógino. Continue reading


The Women of Senegal – Part 2

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World Bank once published that “There is no investment more effective for achieving development goals than educating girls.” And as much as I think that it’s a no brainer: educating girls is primordial; I have run into people who disagree.

During my first week with the organization, I had the opportunity to accompany Adji Sanghor in her traveling, and together we visited over twenty schools in the area – where we met with the young girls sponsored by the program “Nos Soeurs à l’école” (“Our Sisters in school”). We spent entire days on the road. The trip was tough, and the roads were awful. It’s not even fair to say there were potholes in the asphalt. Instead, there were some asphalt chunks on the dirt roads. But that is not what I want to talk about. Continue reading

The Women of Senegal – Part 1

Sokone, Fatick, Senegal | Mercredi 6 Septembre 2013

Women’s Global Education Project is a ten-year-old organization founded on the belief that a society thrives when there is universal education, gender equity, and women who are empowered to be independent. Started in 2003 by a former Peace Corps volunteer (who lived in Sokone in the 1990s with the same family I’m living with now), WGEP partners with local organizations in Senegal and Kenya to increase the educational outcomes of young women. UNICEF estimates that worldwide, some 117 million school-aged children do not attend school, 62 million of them girls. Attendance rates are lowest in sub-Saharan Africa, where only 57 percent of girls are in school, and just 15 percent of these go on to secondary school. Continue reading

The locals, the tea and the quality time

Hi, I’ve updated the post with photos from each day and a Portuguese translation 😀

October 28 | Day 1 in the village: My host family’s house is still under construction. After losing everything they owned in last years flooding, they had to start from scratch. So today, as I moved in, so did my host brother, sister and her brother in law who were all living elsewhere. We are starting our new lives together. Here, time really is people, and on my first night alone, I hung out with my host family for seven hours straight! We were together the second I arrived, at 19 o’clock, until the moment I went to bed at 2 in the morning. We hung out as they prepared dinner in the living room, and on the rooftop afterwards as they made me ataaya tea. We talked for hours, which made me feel included from the get go, and the host siblings made sure I had everything I needed before going to bed. Continue reading

The second half

Sur le chemin de Sokone, Senegal | Lundi 28 Octobre 2013

I didn’t come to Senegal solely for the academics. What drew me to this program more than anything else was the opportunity to do an internship during part of my stay in West Africa. The idea of spending seven weeks in a classroom in Dakar leaning French, a new language (Wolof) as well as taking country analyses, public health and sustainability and environment courses was great, but spending six extra weeks simply working and experience the pace of life in a small village is what made me sign up for the Minnesota Studies in International Development. Continue reading

We are here to study the ocean

Plage de Mermoz, Dakar, Senegal | Samedi 7 Septembre 2013

Continue reading