Fellows' Blog Archives
Youth & Education: All Posts
Close Your Eyes to See
by Lydia Crush | February 16, 2012
Balance. Yin and yang, black and white, male and female, day and night, good and bad, sweet and salty, silence and cacophony; they compliment each other and make each other stronger. Because of the existence of one, the other is contrasted and highlighted. If we lived in perpetual winter, we would quickly grow tired of the biting wind and harsh temperatures while forgetting about the innate beauty. But because of summer, we can appreciate each for it’s nature.
But in the trenches of winter, it is really quite difficult to imagine the summer days when all you want to eat…
Celebrations, Coworkers, and Cuy
by Molly Owens | February 16, 2012
December for me was marked by three things: celebrations, coworkers, and cuy.
Cuy for the people who don’t know, is guinea pig. I ate cuy. I’m a great vegetarian, right? I figured I had to at least try this bizarre dish that is somewhat of a delicacy in the Andes. Once I got past the fact that they serve the whole body of the animal on the plate, it was surprisingly delicious. I understand why it’s not a dish served in the States, but if you’re planning on visiting Ecuador and feeling adventurous,…
On Backpacks and Ballots
by Charlotte Benishek | February 7, 2012
One morning as I sat on the mat in the sand in Megan’s village, drinking my ataya, I watched Ibrahima, her six year old brother leaving for school, carrying his little backpack. This reminded me of how my little brother and all of the students in first grade in my village had recently received free backpacks distributed by the charitable arm of FIFA (Federation International de Football Association), ostensibly to encourage school attendance. This might seem like a great idea initially, but my little brother (and I suspect many of the other children who received backpacks) already had a perfectly…Read the rest »
Where We Go From Here
by Elias Estabrook | December 21, 2011
Tucked away in the north of Dakar surrounded by green lawns and palms trees, the Meridien President Hotel is glaringly different from the swelling, sandy neighborhoods and bustling, littered streets through which our taxi weaves. Within the five-star conference center’s halls, the environment is abuzz with the conversations and presentations by dignitaries, professors, and representatives of NGOs, tackling the complex theme of family planning. Nevertheless, outside of the hotel gates is reality: a city – and an African continent – still struggling with providing basic health care and addressing fundamental needs for family planning services. The picture outside is not…Read the rest »
“It Breaks Real Easy”
by Lucy Blumberg | December 12, 2011
Let me rant just a little. The Senegalese school system often seems broken. Alright, I’m done.
What brought this rant about? It all started with a little involvement on my part in the studies of my 12 year old cousin. He told me his homework was hard that night.
“Mettina, Fanta! Mettina torop!” which literally translates as “it hurts, a lot!” a piece of vocab I hear all too often at the Poste where I work.
“Lutax?” I asked. “Why?”
He explained to me that tonight he has to memorize seven sentences in French about the ear, more than what…
The Tip of the Iceberg
April 25, 2011
I have about a week left in Brazil. But instead of talking about all the feelings pounding on my chest, demanding that they be shot up my esophagus, out from my mouth and conveyed, I will talk about one. I came to Brazil wanting to teach. Whatever I would be doing in this country I knew I wanted to be in front of children, providing a skill, a piece of inspiration, a new cultural perspective. However, I never became a teacher here. I’ll backtrack a little.
When I first encountered trouble I thought I needed to be closer with the…
March 28, 2011
I came to Senegal with high hopes of embarking out on my own and weaning myself off the comfortable interdependence of my family. There were my dreams and then, there was reality. I am now an eighteen –year old, self-defined feminist …with a two-year child.
Alaine and I walk hand in hand to school each day. She tries to pull me into each boutique we pass, to beg for bonbons with her puppy eyes. We sing as we walk and she creates opportunities to jump down from little piles of rocks. The way home is a different story: It is…