Fellows' Blog Archives
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The Toubab Dilemna
by Matthew Travers | April 23, 2013
Words here in Senegal are a valuable commodity. The wisest people string the neatest webs of words, and a new word learned in Wolof is a new tool to use. However, since the beginning of my time here, one word in particular has followed me wherever I go: Toubab.
As you walk down the road to work, a group of teenagers snickers, “Toubab, ana sa xaalis? Doo nu ko may?” (Toubab, where’s your money? Aren’t you going to give us some?) Later at the market, the merchant tells you the price of a piece of clothing you know is three…
Toubab! Eh, toubab!
by Olivia Hill | April 23, 2013
I can become fluent in Wolof, I can wear the exotic clothes, I can cook ceebu gen bu suff (rice and fish that is tasty), and I can get myself a Senegalese husband, but there is one thing I cannot do.
I cannot change the color of my skin.
I’ve even asked if there are blackening lotions instead of the many xeesal products (skin bleaching), but surprisingly those do not exist in Senegal.
So here I am; white as ever.
If I wasn’t aware of color status before I came to Senegal, there are now constant reminders. From being called…
A Free (Virtual) Walking Tour of Salvador!
by Mary Kate Mueller | April 23, 2013
Let’s take a (virtual) walking tour through the ruas ativas of Salvador, Bahia! Stay close and attentive, be sure to keep your belongings secure, and look both ways about 47 times before crossing the streets!
Let’s begin our tour along the Orla, in Itapuã…, where the locals go for some of the best beaches! I’d prefer to find a plot of sand on the beach that is not filled with people, so we may have to walk a bit, but it will be worth it! I can almost guarantee that you will make some new amigos on the beach today, everyone loves
by Chloe Bash | April 7, 2013
As we sat down to lunch one day, a fellow from a neighboring town mentioned that she hadn’t thrown up in months. “Even the water doesn’t seem to bother me anymore,” I responded. “Nor does the street food,” she observed. We concluded that we had become “acostumbradas,” accustomed to the Ecuadorian diet. I recognize, now, that we were tempting fate.
I awoke five days later to intense stomach pain and spent the morning in the outhouse as some creature happily wreaked havoc on my digestive track. I had been eagerly looking forward to a night out dancing at the karaoke bar, the social center of my town,…
Updates and Anecdotes Part II
by Aidan Holloway-Bidwell | March 27, 2013
Time grows short here in Los Bancos. With two weeks left I start to think back: “How exactly have a spent these past seven months, that it all went by so quickly?” Well, my routine made weeks fly by. Teaching English classes, giving environmental and recycling presentations, painting, building, traveling to and from communities…that was the majority. There was a lot of one-time stuff too, unique experiences that came up out of the blue and lifted me out of the daily routine. Throwing mud at Carnaval was one such experience, as was hiking Pichincha during ICO, and counting birds at…Read the rest »
A Day in the Life
by Marisa Comeau-Kerege | March 11, 2013
I would like to introduce Coumba Seck. She is my host cousin out here in Mboro and the subject of my Day in the Life project. The assignment was to follow a boy or girl age 12-18 in our host community so we could see what life was like for the local kids. I decided to take a twist on the assignment and included parts of Coumba’s half brother’s day as well to try to see the differences between the lives of the boys and girls in Mboro, more specifically my quartier, or neighborhood, of Gounass.
Enjoy!…Read the rest »
No power, no problem
by Marisa Comeau-Kerege | March 11, 2013
What happens if the power goes out in America? Life kind of comes to a stand still. Some school districts might cancel school, back up generators would kick in, those without back ups would start freaking out about the food in the fridge or freezer, and the general American population would go into withdrawals or just be bored out of their mind due to being cut off from their precious technology.
The power goes out here….a lot. Whether it is because of the heat, a blown fuse, or whatever, it’s a common occurrence. The phrase, “Le courant est coupé,” (The current is cut or the power is…