Monday, January 23, 2012

Link for the photos-

The Cook ladies visit Linguere!!!

I was so lucky to host my mom and sister over the Christmas holiday. I can't believe I've had my parents and sister visit my home here and traveled around the country. It was amazing to see familiar faces and allow myself some general silliness throughout their trip. It was a much appreciated break from my normal routine here.

So check out some pictures of our trip.

My photos online!

Hey guys, just wanted to let you that I have Picasa now that makes it so easy for me to share my photos online for free. So please check out these amazing photos that Joe Cook took while visiting in November!!

Joe Cook comes to Senegal

My amazing dad came to visit me over the Thanksgiving holiday. He flew in and we went straight to Linguere on a long, but fun 8-hour sept place drive. He got a small taste of how public transportation runs here. We hung out a few days, Joe got to see my little town, go to work with me, hang out at the weekly market and bike through the bush. He got to stay with my host family and see where I've been living for the last year. After that we went to the colonial city of St. Louis and hung around the fishing village. We were able to relax on the beach and catch up. The sand dunes of Lompoul were gorgeous and I'm pretty sure Joe Cook loved his camel ride. Ha. We built a little branch statue in hopes that when I came back two months later with my mom and sister that it would still be there (It was!). After that we moved on to Palmarin, which was beautiful except for a little security issue. So on to Toubab Diallou, which might be one of my favorite places in Senegal. The hotel Sabo Bade is an amazing hobbit-like village. We took a quick trip to Goree Island before I brought him back to the airport.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Help us!! Camp Gem Sa Bopp

In writing these blogs and posting pictures I don't feel as if I've really done much to show you guys what I do here and the types of conditions we are working in. I think maybe because I'm either venting about certain situations and also I don't want to worry anyone at home about where I am. The thing is, my lifestyle here is pretty amazing because I come from a privileged background, being American, and I am also being funded by the US Government. I am a women that has been educated; been given the opportunity and the choice to go to school and continue on to college.

Most of the young girls here don't have the support, whether it be emotionally or financially, to attend school. Once a girl starts to grow up they are expected to work around the home and eventually be married. If a family can only send one child: son or daughter to school, there really is no choice. Obviously this is NOT every family situation, but many.

I and many other Peace Corps Senegal volunteers participate in the Michelle Sylvester Scholarship Program that helps pay for tuition and school supplies to deserving middle-school girls. It's a wonderful program and I am so happy to participate in it. BUT I have something else going on as well.

Some of my fellow volunteers and I are putting together a Leadership Camp for these scholarship winners in our region. It is a one-week camp, every day aiming at building strengths and teaching new skills. We have for example, Environment Day, Career Day, Arts&Culture Day, Health Day, and Business Day. We will bring in professionals from many fields to tell their stories to these bright young girls. There will also be sports, team building exercises and an American Cookout!

We are looking for funding from our friends, family, returned Peace Corps Volunteers and American Citizens. Your donations will go a long way in providing these young girls a chance to visit one of the largest cities in Senegal as well as learn about the many options their lives have in store.

PLEASE check out our website below for more information and where you can donate!
     It's for the girls...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yang yang, gamou, family reunions

Visiting Yang Yang...

 AnnMarie and I dressed to impress..
Baby sister Mama and cousin Ramata

 Cauldron of onions AnnMarie and I spent hours cutting. Hanging out with the ladies in the kitchen gets you the best gossip about everyone in the family. Since the gamou was essentially a family reunion, there was a lot of people to talk about! I'm still confused who is 'so and so's' sister's brothers' uncle who was married to that other girl's brother who shares a father with that other guy...I just tuned it out a little.
    Family, friends and places on my bedroom wall. I'm slowly creating a willow tree, or slowly going nuts.
Aunt Ndioba and little sister Ndiaye Touba


Mural time at the health post in Yang Yang!

Friday, June 17, 2011

More Pictures: Out of Order

Unicorns in Senegal!

The best meal I've had in Senegal, no my host family did not make it. Thank you so much Joan, Philipe and Maxine for hosting me in Dakar!

Our cow and Pulaar...back in America

 Laundry day at home..
 Installing the new kids, stick beds!
 Yang Yang Gammou, almost all forms of transportation represented here

Yang Yang Historical Museum