Our volunteers working with the Talibé work at one of two centers, offering a number of different resources: health, education, sport and environment. Heading the health aspect is nurse Amina Niang, who lends her expertise, teaching volunteers and local staff alike what to look for when doing health care and how to treat some of the most common cases the Tablié children come to the center with.
On Monday, October 17th, Amina gave birth to her first child, a baby boy! As per the custom, one week after the birth the baptism was held, where friends and family gathered together to visit the new baby and witness the Imam give a name to the child. Yesterday, Monday October 24th was the baptism for Amina's son, who was named Pape Alioune!
Amina, being the kind, generous and giving woman that she is, invited the staff and the volunteers to her home for lunch in true Senegalese Terenga fashion, so they they could visit her and the baby. Since she had gone on maternity leave about 1 month ago, most of the volunteers who are working at the Talibé centers currently did not yet get to work with her, though her excptional reputation precedes her and 3 volunteers, who had heard many wonderful stories about her, came with me, Joke our Desk Officer and Fina our Assistant Director, to Amina's house for lunch!
Check out the photos of the beautiful baby and glowing mom below!
Two of our current volunteers working for RADDHO decided to do their project on the sex education here in Senegal as it pertains to young girls. Yesterday, Wednesday evening, our two volunteers held a seminar in which they invited 30 young girls, between the ages of 14 and 18.
First, they handed out a packet with True/False questions and asked the girls to answer questions about sexual health to see what they knew before the short lesson.
Afterwards, the volunteers began their presentation, talking about STI's, how they are transmitted, what to do if you contract one, and how they're avoided, which led to talk about contraception.
The volunteers went through the numerous forms of contraceptive and ended by leaving it open for questions. And there were many!
The participants were open and curious and posed many questions, which were answered by the volunteers and the RADDHO supervisor as well. It came out that most of these young girls did not feel as though the learned enough sexual health in school, and thus this seminar was a good opportunity for them to come talk about a "taboo" topic, get important information, learn what services are available, and get questions answered!
The volunteers plan on holding another workshop next week with the mothers of these girls, to reinforce the importance of what was talked about! I'll keep you posted!
This past Sunday, some of the volunteers met at a host familiy's home to learn how to make Senegal's national dish, Ceebu Jen! We started around 11 AM and after over 3 hours of cooking sat down to enjoy our meal! Here's the recipe so that you can try yourself!
**PS: Hi Erin's Mom!! She told me that you read the blog often so we thought it would be nice to say a special hello! Even though Erin doesn't eat fish, we thought you might like to try the national dish of her host country!! Enjoy! :)
White fish: 1 kilo
Dried fish: 100 grams
Tomato Paste: 250 grams
Carrot: 250 grams (about 2)
Cabbage: 250 grams (about 1 head)
Eggplant: 250 grams (about 2)
Manioc: 250 grams
White Turnip: 250 grams
Squash: 250 grams (about ¼ )
White Bissap: 1 cup
Tamarind: 1 cup
Okra: 1 cup
Hot Pepper: 3
Garlic: 1 head
Vegetable Oil: ½ liter + enough to fry fish balls
Rice: 2 kilos
Vinegar, Green Onion, Salt, Pepper and Dried Hot Peppers to taste
--In a large pot, heat ½ liter of oil, one chopped onion, 1 crushed fresh tomato and 200 grams of tomato paste with a little water and the dried fish. Let this cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
--Peel and wash the vegetables, cutting them lengthwise and setting them aside.
--While the pot is being heated, you can prepare the “roff”
--With a mortar and pestle, pound 1 head of garlic with a handful of dried hot peppers, a bunch of green onion, salt and pepper until thoroughly mixed.
--After setting 200 grams of white fish aside, stuff the remaining fish with half of the roff
--Add the 200 grams of fish to the remaining half of the roff and pound together with a piece of bread that has been soaked in water in the mortar and pestle.
--Add water to the large pot little by little until it is half full, putting a lid on it and waiting for it to boil.
--While waiting, you can prepare the sauce called Diaga
--Take the fish and roff combination and roll into little balls, about ¼ inch in diameter.
--Fry these balls quickly in oil until golden brown
--Remove the balls from the oil and add the remaining 50 grams of tomato paste with 2 chopped onions until the tomato paste is well cooked.
--Add some water, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
--Put the balls back in and heat together for a few minutes. Set aside.
--Now that the big pot is boiling, put the white fish and all the vegetables but the eggplant in the pot to cook. Leave for about 30 minutes.
--After 30 minutes, add the eggplant.
--After washing the rice, put it in a colander on top of the pot, covering with a lid to cook. Check it often and when mostly cooked, take it off of the pot.
--Take the vegetables and the fish out of the pot, setting them aside in a bowl. Put the rice in the pot to cook. Leave until the water is gone.
*Now it’s time to serve!
--Put the rice on a large plate, adding the fish and vegetables and pouring the extra sauce around at the end. Enjoy!
Hi everybody !!
My name is Joke Van Eylen, I am the new « Desk Officer » for Projects Abroad in Saint-Louis, Senegal. I studied Clinical Psychology in Belgium and Spain, untill I got my masters degree last June. Since then I have been in Senegal this – hot hot - summer for about three months, before starting to work for Projects Abroad. During that time I did some volunteering, working in a garden at Sor as well as giving first aid to Talibé children. I love the food here in Senegal, the live concerts (Mama Sadio !!), going to the beach and swimming, going down the river and kayaking, just hanging out and drinking tea, etc… . I hope you are / will be enjoying Senegal as much as I do !
I will be sharing my enthusiasm while helping you get prepared for your trip, since I will be your main point of contact regarding any questions you may have and assisting you in any way that I can with any hints, tips or advice, so please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to meeting all of you, and I hope you will have an amazing experience while here !!
See you soon !!
Upstairs from the summer kindergarden, volunteers were hard at work giving English classes to students and eager adults. Last Friday, September 30, the 105 out of 200 best young students and the 65 out of 80 best adults were recognized for their hard work during these summer classes and presented with certificates and presents.
To start off, a few students recited poems in English
and then our Country Director, Moctar Ba, made a short speech in which he thanked the students for their hard work and dedication, and the volunteer teachers as well, for without their help and time the summer school would not have been possible.
Next our volunteer teachers were presented with gifts to thank them for their work. They also received a loud and warm appreciative applause from the audience.
Then, the recognition began, and each class was called up to be awarded their certificates and be given notebooks, pens,
pencils, and other school supplies.
I was then asked to come up and present awards to the oldest students, which was a surprise to me!! It was a bit of a
challenge pronouncing some of the names, but these students who were preparing for their last year before taking the BAC
readily came up to accept
After the young students were finished receiving their awards, the MC Malick brought up a talented English who also had a
gift for art, to show off her work.
Next, the adults were called up to receive awards, class by class
One of our volunteer teachers, Laura was then called upon to present awards
The adult classes continued to be called up one by one...
The next presenter was another volunteer teacher, Ryan who gave out awards to an adult class
The awards for the last class were presented by Zale,
Now that all of the students had received their certificates, a final group of 5 were called up to receive special
recognition for their hard work. Each were given an English/French dictionary.
The ceremony was now concluded and the audience enjoyed refreshments before returning home, awards and recognition in tow!
During the summer vacation, Projects Abroad opened a free summer kindergarden where our volunteers worked during the mornings with the children who came. They did arts and crafts projects, sang songs, played music, took trips to the beach, and many other activities. Last Friday, September 30, was the last day of the kindergarden, and so to celebrate, we threw a little party.
The children, volunteers and "TaTa's" who work there decorated the room to give the party a festive atmosphere!
The volunteers and the TaTa's also prepared gifts for the children which would be distributed later in the day
After hanging out with the kids a bit while everyone arrived
the festivities began!! Dancing and drumming and snacks!
It was a wonderful morning, and a fun end to a great summer!
After 10 months, our Desk Officer, Emma Sharpe's, contract is up and she's left our staff in Senegal to join the team in Costa Rica. Emma's job is an important one, as she is the first point of contact for all of the arriving volunteers, answering questions which help prepare for their upcoming trip. Once in Senegal too, Emma was always there to answer questions and help when there was a problem. We'll miss her terribly!
Our Assistant Director Fina accompanied Emma to the airport on Friday, and along the way they met Bala Gaye 2, famous Senegalese lutteur! Only Emma could go out with such a bang!
Last Thursday, volunteers met at the Moroccan restaurant El Falah in the north of the city to enjoy the monthly social dinner. We enjoyed crudité as an entrée
Tagine with chicken or mutton with a side of couscous for the main course
and yummy fruit salad with mint tea for dessert. Afterwards, volunteers relaxed in the tent and enjoyed Moroccan music!!
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