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Build a school in Senegal

Jamballon (Good day in Pulaar)! I am just back from Senegal for a few days and due to my work I have almost forgotten that I was there. Back from an unreal time to reality.

It was unreal and it still is! At the beginning of the year I could not predict to meet Sandra from New York who runs marathons to raise money to build schools in China during the Great Wall Marathon. And than ending up in Senegal with her and four other powerwoman to help to build one of the schools. Amazing! ;)

This unreality translated itself in a reality where I ...

  1. ... contributed in making the school's foundation with over 100 Fahrenheit with these ladies, construction workers and a large group of the Tanguis Peulh community.

  2. ... learned how to make bricks and dig the school's foundation. And got even more respect for women than I already have! 

  3. ... had to play the drums during the opening ceremony where women were twerking in front of my eyes. (sorry I was so overwhelmed that I forgot to take photos...

  4. ... met wonderful children and beautiful people who express so much joy that I could almost move there (has been offered btw). 

  5. ... met these ladies with whom I had great fun and got inspired by. Just before our departure we were advised not to go to Goree Island due to terrorist threats. We decided to go anyway. Kiana who grew up in Iran the first nine years in war phlegmatic said" "if your time has come, it has come. Nothing you can do about it"... 

  6. ... was named Ndiambour Ba and Ahmet Ba and stayed at a hostfamily who only spoke Wolof and Pulaar. 

  7. ... gave a short Dutch college to the kids and learned them that the big thing in the middle of my head is a neus (nose) in Dutch.  

  8. ... had my p... sessions between the cows. Scale varied ;)

  9. ... had a great shower to cool down of the extreme hot temperature ... with a bucket of water.

  10. ... sat up straight a couple of times at night as I thought somebody was raped. It turned out to be a donkey that apparently does not only say ia, but is also able to do other imitations. 

  11. ... lost my way to my host family the first night. However thanks to the little flashlight I got from Lori I recognized my footprint in one of the cowpoops and managed to find my way back. 

  12. ... greatly enjoyed the sunrise and beautiful nature in the morning. 

  13. ... was a vegetarian the whole week. The last day we got a surprise from the village: a goat! Our great cook Naafi made a great lunch and dinner of it. Later we heard that she forgot to separate the meat and the intestines.  Beeehhhhh...

  14. ... fell in love with Naafi('s cooking arts) and was challenged to wrestle (sport no.1 in Senegal) with a guy who also had a crush on her.  

  15. ... had a "gendertalk" about topics like polygamy (inspiring ;)) and cows (requesting met to buy a bull for them and send it over). When I told them we don't have envelopes for this, they seriously came with other options.  

  16. ... was dressed in a Senegalese outfit to dance and give a speech in Pulaar. 

  17. ... got the confirmation once again that humor and a smile is universal and connects all cultures and backgrounds. 

  18. ... want more "less is more"!

To be honest I was a bit anxious to go there, but I am so grateful I persisted and was awarded with this unforgettable experience. 

Big thanks and gratitude to my Senegal family: 

  • Sandra "Marathon-mother Theresa 2.0"

  • Celestina "I put you in a bottle, close it and throw you away"

  • Maya "No Puedo"

  • Kiki "the Bone collector"

  • Lori "Much more is less"

  • Kiana "Banana" 

  • Sean "Poop buddy"

  • And of course all the BuildOn crew and the people of Tanguis Peulh. Jërë-jëf! 

What happened in Senegal, stays in Senegal! ;)


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