Amanda Brinegar senegal 2011
If you could teach one class at your high school, which would it be? I would teach English. The subject leaves room for creativity. Words are extremely powerful. I would want to teach students how to use our 26 letters in a meaningful way.
Taking it to the Streets – Malaria No More
April 25, 2011
GCY fellows walked 11 kilometers on Sunday April 16th with Malaria No More to raise awareness about the curable and preventable disease that kills 1 child every 45 seconds. Malaria No More has the goal to halt and reverse all incidences of malaria in Africa by 2015.
From My High Horse
April 22, 2011
I grew up in a family of independent, empowered women. My immediate family consists of my sister, my mom, my father and myself so it is safe to say that the women usually have the final say. Growing up, my father would never let me believe that I was any less than someone else, especially a boy. If a boy ever messed with me, my dad just told me to knock ‘em in the nose. In my world, gender inequality was something of the past.
Subconsciously, I brought this belief with me to Senegal. I knew that women had a…
When the Water Stops
February 28, 2011
After about four days with no shower, I start to really smell. My skin becomes darker with caked dirt, and I am forced to re-wear filthy clothes and turn socks inside out.
The water has stopped running.
At least once a week, I go to turn the handle on the spigot in the yard and nothing will come. Not even a trickle. For unknown reasons, the water remains underground. When this happens, my family, without blinking an eye, become like camels, living off the little water they have stored for such circumstances. They drink little and use even less.
December 13, 2010
The women in my family had washed and hung their clothes before I had even woken. They left sleep behind at prayer call, six in the morning, when the sun had only kissed the sky and not yet embraced it in a hug, When I climbed out of bed onto the sand speckled, cracked concrete floor, the sun had already outstretched its rays and curled its fingers around Senegal, scorching everything with its grip. I had only one clean outfit, a pair of navy blue kaki capris and an Andy-Wharholed, Obama t-shirt laying on the single shelf that was designated…Read the rest »
Lost in Translation
December 8, 2010
While I tell these stories in English, I live my life now in Wolof. My struggle to translate life to language seems impossible; I feel like a typist who holds her hands over the keys slightly off, the words coming out garbled.
I am lost in translation.
Like an infant, I am in a new world, surrounded by new words. Unable to think in Wolof, I am no longer using language for myself. I am overwhelmed, filled up with emotions and thoughts I need to express, but can’t until I learn the words. In my village, I can’t feel, I…
November 30, 2010
Picked up from the pavement of Dakar, I was dropped off in the sun-soaked sand of my new village on November 2. Curling my toes to hold on to my sandals, I waded through the wind-blown earth until I reached my house, the home of the Ndiaye family, a last name I now claim as my own. I shook hands with my yayy and baay (mom and dad), repeating the few greetings I had memorized in Wolof. I followed my older brother as he gave me the grand tour. He showed me the three rooms that will really matter while…Read the rest »
October 18, 2010
I keep having the same dream. The sun is in my eyes, but in its glare I can see people staring and pointing at me. Panic stricken, I look down and realize I am naked, exposed. Then I wake up.
But often, I’m not sure that I have actually wakened. When walking to school, I get stares, sometimes comments. I bite the inside of my cheek to make sure I’m awake. I can feel the pain.
On our fifth day in Senegal, we were dragged to the nitty-gritty, living, breathing downtown Dakar. In the confines of markets, paved streets and…