RebeccaT's Travel Journals

RebeccaT

  • From Vermont, United States
  • Currently in Vermont, United States

Living Routes Senegal Fall 2009

Living Routes study abroad program in Senegal, Fall 2009 (September-December 2009)

Cest Fini...

Senegal Dakar, Senegal  |  Dec 13, 2009
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 The party was fun, but it was also sad. And the next day people started leaving... 

I can hardly believe it's all over...

The Sustainable Development exam was on Monday morning.  I didn't take the French exam on Monday afternoon because I took the Wolof exam on Tuesday.  There was a written part and an oral part.  The written part wasn't too bad, although the oral part was a bit intimidating.  But in the end I did alright.

On Wednesday afternoon we had a last check-in/feedback session with all the students and staff.  After that all the American and Senegalese students except for Jim (who had to go to his host brother's soccer game) went to get pizza together at a nice hotel/restaurant on the beach in N'gor. 

Thursday was officially the last day of the program.  I had nothing left to do except filling out the online program evaluation and signing a form saying that Living Routes is no longer liable for me.  In the evening we had an end-of-program party.  There was lots of good food and homemade juice.  The power went out right as we were about to eat.  But it wasn't too bad - we ended up having a candlelit party.  And there was singing and dancing instead of dancing to recorded music played on a computer.  It was mostly Senegalese songs in Wolof or other indigenous languages, but they also wanted us to share an American song, so we all did the hokey pokey!

The party was fun, but it was also sad.  It was the last time we would all be together, and there were lots of tears and hugs.

That night I went out for drinks in N'gor with Ruthanne, Gabe, Ruth, Jim, Sam(antha), Sam's boyfriend Mike (who had arrived from Vermont that day in order to travel to Mali with her and Jim), and Nicki, a British woman who recently moved in with my host family.  And the next day people started leaving...

Most of us American students had originally planned to return to the U.S. right after the end of the program, but most of us ended up changing our flights later on.  Ruthanne was the only one who went straight back to the U.S.  She left late Friday night.  It's weird not having her at my host family anymore...  Jim, Sam, and Sam's boyfriend Mike left for Mali on Friday afternoon.  After a week there they will be back in Dakar for a few hours and then return to the U.S.  Nas (Mwanase) left for Kenya, where she was born and lived until she was eight years old, on Friday afternoon.  She will spend a few days in Dakar in January on the way back to Vermont.  Nikki decided to stay a couple more weeks in Dakar before heading to Europe and eventually back to the U.S. 

I spent Friday going with Gabe to meet Philomène at the university, go to the market and N'ice Cream with her, and then go to her house in Ouakam.  In the evening I did some laundry.  Normally my host family does the laundry, but the maid left for Tabaski and hasn't yet returned, so my laundry hadn't been done in a couple of weeks and I needed some clean clothes for the trip to Kedougou.  So I attempted to wash my clothes by hand, the way they do it here.  It's a LOT of work!  My arms and hands were pretty sore afterwards, and I probably didn't really do it right.  I was already impressed with Senegalese women and all the work they do (cooking for large families, carrying water, doing laundry, ironing, sweeping, etc.), but now I am even more so.  In any case, I now have some (theoretically) clean clothes for my trip.

Gabe, Ruth, and I will be leaving for Kedougou tonight, Sunday, December 13, on an overnight bus and returning to Dakar on the morning of Sunday, December 20 on another bus.  Youssouf, one of the Senegalese students who is from that area, will be coming with us as well.  After the trip, Gabe will be flying out the night of the 22nd/morning of the 23rd.  Ruth will be staying in Senegal, hopefully doing an internship with the NGO SOS Environnement.  And I will be leaving around 2am on December 24 and arriving in Vermont that afternoon, imchallah... 

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