More recent posts about Senegal

Articles from Senegal

  1. Senegal Now that's how you make juice!

    While in Senegal I worked with a local juice and jelly business owned by a group of young women.  Through a Peace Corps Partnership Program grant I worked with them to receive their liscense to sell jucie products legally in Senegal.  We also purchased this HUGE cooking pot to pasteurize their juice and were very proud of it!    

  2. Senegal Baby Naming Ceremony in Senegal

    Near the end of my service a young woman that I was close to had her first child.  Her her sister-in-law sits with the new born and the family elders during the naming ceremony.  I really saw this girl become a woman during my service and enjoyed seeing her grow!

  3. Senegal Wedding Entrance in Senegal

    The moment a woman enters her husband's house as a new bride is joyful and a huge step in Senegal.  They are greated by their new family and the women put down cloth in front of her to lead the way to her new home.  Her a close friend of mine, all dressed up for the day, enters her husband's home for the first time as his new wife.  After this a day of eating and celebrating began!

  4. Senegal Good-byes After Two Years

    During my service as a Small Enterprise Development (SED) Volunteer in Kaffrine, Senegal I taught a weekly bussines class at a local vocational school for young women.  My course, which I taught in French and Wolof in conjunction with my Senegalese counterpart, was a nice addition to their curriculum and a great way to get to know some amazing young women.  Here I am at the end of my service saying good-bye to them.

  5. Senegal Go Fly a Kite

    I built this kite in my village of M'Boulouctène, Senegal.  After flying it I left the village for a couple of days.  When I returned every kid was running around trailing a piece of string with a scrap of paper tied to it.

  6. Senegal Circumcision Rites

    Becoming a man, a milestone in life.

  7. Senegal Seynebou and N'Diaya

    A member of my family.  I don't know if I adopted them or if they adopted me.  At any rate, knowing the Sarr's was wonderful.

  8. Senegal Father and Son

    The Senegalese are devoted to their children and proud of them.

  9. Senegal Three Children

    Senegalese children, like children everywhere, are beautiful

  10. Senegal Brothers

    Bok bene yaye ak bene baye (sharing the same mother and same father).  Family is important and sharing the same father and mother is a special relationship.

  11. Senegal Ocean Fishermen

    A friend and I came upon this scene as we were walking on the beautiful beach of Popenguine, near Thies.  The fish were flipping around, and the men all pulling hard to haul in the net.  Meanwhile, seabirds hovered nearby, waiting to catch a discarded morsel.

  12. Senegal Herding in the Dust

    This is a view from my backyard step; over the millet fence a nomadic Pulaar herdsman is drivng his flock of sheep.  They eat leftover stubble in the fields after harvest season, when it is so dry the air is almost opaque with dust.

  13. Senegal Pretty in Pink

    This young lady is selling vegetables and seasonings at the village's daily market.  Women come there every day, to buy what they need for lunch and dinner.  In the background is a donkey charette - rural Senegal's most popular mode of transportation!

  14. Senegal 1st Eco-Tourism Expo

    With my fellow PCV, Laurel Gladish at the Eco-Tourism Expo that the PCVs working with Eco-Tourism put on to help promote the communities they were working with to tour agencies.  The event took place at Club Atlantique in Dakar, Senegal.  There were approximately 13 PCVs and their community counterparts that participated in the event

  15. Senegal The Flat Tire

    On a trip down to the islands in the Mangroves of Senegal's Sine-Saloum Delta, our car got a flat tire... the converted station wagon veared off the road when it blew, making us shriek.  Thankfully we all got to our destination safely!  There were 7 PCVs on the trip.

  16. Senegal Sharing Thanksgiving

    Five PCVs, one visiting cousin and two Norweigan students cooked our Thanksgiving Meal 2008 at a small hotel on the Langue de Barbarie in Senegal.  One of the Volunteers, Sara Hollerich, bought the turkey and kept it in outhouse.  Her host-father killed it for her, then she and another PCV prepared it... We also baked pumpkin pies, made stuffing and mashed potatos in the little outdoor kitchen with a sand floor of the hotel.  This photo was taken in the bar of the hotel. 

  17. Senegal All-Dressed up... for a wrestling tournament!

    The Wrestling Tournaments in Senegal are the highlight of the year for many Senegalese villages. Three of us had come down to visit our fellow PCV Laurel Gladish's village, Dassalam-e-Sereer for her villages tournament.  Picture: L-R: Laurel Gladish, Sara Hollerich, Jen Newton, Jessica Flaten, all Senegal 07-09

  18. Senegal Constant company

    With over 45% of the Senegalese population under the age of 18, there are always children to play with or babies to hold.  They love the attention.  In this photo I'm playing with a little Senegalese girl in the village of a fellow PCV on the morning of a religious pilgrimage that I had come down to see. 

  19. Senegal Carrying water

    As Volunteers, we learn to live like our community members, including carrying water from the well on our heads!  Pictured: Jen Newton and Laurel Gladish, both Senegal '07-'09

  20. Senegal Teaching they community

    PCV Abigail Fay teaching the women in her village to make a nutrient and protein-rich porriage to feed their under-weight children and babies.

  21. Senegal Mangrove Replanting - With help from PC Washington!

    PCVs came from around the region to help with a Mangrove Replanting Day in Sokone, Senegal on August 18th, 2009.  We were fortunate to have the Acting Director of Congressional Relations from Peace Corps Washington, Suzie Carroll, join us!  Pictured: young Senegalese boy, PCV Rithvik Balakrishnan, and Suzie Carrol

  22. Senegal The quiet moments

    PCV Grant Rowland catching up with his host father at the end of the day in their compound courtyard. 

  23. Senegal Wherever Mama Goes...

    Senegalese mothers always keep their babies close by, tied close to their backs.  Here mother and daughter are harvesting a little more efficiently than the other.

  24. Senegal Addiction?

    I may not have gotten through my service without the wonderful Kaolack library.  "Always have a book on hand" - it's the first rule of  being a Volunteer!  And as you can see, we read a lot.

  25. Senegal Xadie

    Xadie laughed when I took this picture - she wanted to fix her hair and pose - but I like this one of her the best.  It captures her fun-loving personality and natural beauty.  She's sifting millet flour to make cere, Senegal's traditional dinner.

  26. Senegal The Fish Man

    The fish charette rolled through town every morning.  This man called "Jen! Jen! Jen!" - Fish! Fish! Fish! - and all the women came running with grain to exchange.  It wasn't fresh, but it was fish...

  27. Senegal School time

    The kids helped me paint these lively scenes on their classroom walls.  Here the teachers are taking a little break while the students study.

  28. Senegal Shopping

    Visiting my favorite vegetable seller in the weekly market.  Some neighbor ladies sent me to buy twig brooms, as well.

  29. Senegal Prized Possession

    Adama was so proud of his new horse, he insisted on a picture of himself with it.

  30. Senegal Radio

    This guy was never without his trusty, rusty old radio.  He's enjoying a relaxing moment under the shade structure with his favorite tunes.

  31. Senegal Curiosity

    Leyna Ba can't resist taking a closer look at the camera

  32. Senegal Thian Ndao

    My host sister found a new toy.

  33. Senegal Sunshine Personified

    Aunt Badji...the only woman who can outshine the hot African sun

  34. Senegal Ouli

    My little brother, Ouli, gets very excited whenever I get my bike out to go anywhere. He gets even more excited when I sit him on it.

  35. Senegal Queen for a Day!

    Near the end of my Peace Corps tour, I received a call from Chicago. It was from the Oprah Winfrey Show. She wanted to know if I would like to be a guest on her Mother's Day Show. "Why of course!".  I prepared a short video clip from Senegal for Harpo Studios which was shown on the show.  We surprised my daughter who thought I was still in Senegal,  with  my presence. I was given limosine service and great hotel accomodations. I felt like a queen for a day. What a way to top off my...

  36. Senegal Rice Harvest

    This are women during the rice harvest in my village in southern Senegal.

  37. Senegal Learning

    My two little brothers reciting what they learned in class that day. The best way to get information across is to incorporate karate moves.

  38. Senegal Night Braids

    My best friend, Dou braiding my hair in the dark one last time.

  39. Senegal Paper Recycling in Senegal

    These are members of my Eco-Ecole program (an environmental education program for 9-11 year olds) who are ripping recyclable paper with me to make paper briquettes to use for cook stoves.

  40. Senegal Lunch

    Anyone Hungry?

  41. Senegal Village Women

    These lovely women were walking back to their village in the southern Kaolack region of Senegal.

  42. Senegal Bath Time

    Baby sister, Ami (aka Jessica) enjoying the fact she is small enough to hang out in the bucket.

  43. Senegal After the Rains

    This photo was taken the day after a big rain.  The path was flooded, and you can see the towers from the village Mosque in the distance.

  44. Senegal Healthy Porridge

    A boy in Senegal eats healthy porridge his mom learned how to make from a PCV healthy porridge demonstration.

  45. Senegal Mr. Cool

    Adama was taken by a PCV to a hospital participating in Operation Smile to have his cleft lip repaired.  Then he put on a hat and sunglasses to highlight his cool new looks to his friends and family when he got back home.

  46. Senegal Mamdou the Woodworker

    As part of my job as a Small Enterprise Development Agent in Senegal, I work with artisans to help them improve their business skills and market their goods. This is me with Mamadou Dioum, a woodworker from Diourbel at an Artisan Exposition in Dakar, Dec 2010.

  47. Senegal Lost in the woods

    This photo was taken on my third day at my site. I was terrified of these crazed, machete and stick-wielding tree-men (called gangurans in Mandinka), who run around the village threatening to beat children as they scream and run away. My host family egged me on to get this photo.   

  48. Senegal Ndeye

    This is my sister Ndeye right before Tabaski during my second year at site (November 2009).  Everyone else was just sitting around, braiding hair or shelling peanuts.  Ndeye is extra special to me because when her son Ibou was born (her first child), he was extremely malnourished and Ndeye didn't know how to properly breastfeed.  I worked with her on it and coached her about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and Ibou started gaining weight!  He is now a healthy, active, and precocious...

  49. Senegal Let's Meet Under the Mango Tree

    This picture was taken the day before the naming ceremony of my village namesake, James Diouf, named after my father in the US.  The women of the village are all gathered under one of the largest village mango trees, taking turns pounding millet for the porridge and big meal the next day.  The women are sitting around, making tea, dancing, gossiping, and egging each other on as they pound.  The images from this day will forever be imprinted in my memories.  Thank you, ladies.

  50. Senegal Running for the Rain, or to Find Love

    As part of the traditional start to the Rainy Season in my area, Thiura Pethie is an enormous festival involving storytelling, throwing millet and yogurt mixtures, traditional Serere wrestling, and running around sacred baobab trees.  A type of fertility ceremony, the youth of the community run around the tree, at least 3 times, in hopes of having good fortune and finding their soul mate over the course of the following year.  There is joy and anticipation in the celebration, praying for a bo...

  51. Senegal First Communion

    Senegal is 95% Muslim, so the Christians (mostly Catholics) are few and far between.  However, in the big cities, there are a few churches and each service is an experience, complete with beautiful music and drumming, dancing, and multi-lingual experiences.  These young children were celebrating their First Communions and the church was packed in celebration.

  52. Senegal You say tomato, I say...

    Ya (Mama) Oumy posing with part of the harvest from the women's group vegetable garden, made possible through a USAID Food Security grant in 2010.  That's a lot of tomato sauce and delicious vitamins!

  53. Senegal Hoopiness!

    Bringing the joy of the hula hoop to the children of West Africa.  My Girls Group spent the afternoon making hula hoops and then we practiced our moves.  They were quick learners.

  54. Senegal Pretty in Pink

    A Pulaar herdsman pulling water from a well for his cows in a village south of Diourbel, Senegal.

  55. Senegal Faux Lion

    Faux Lion (fake lion) ceremonies involve traditional drumming and dancing and are common in Senegal.   Performers wear colorful garb with animal influences and entertain the crowds with their rowdy behavior.

  56. Senegal Rose Colored Glasses

    I taught the kids in my compound (and my chef du village father and everyone else...) how to use their hands to make a pair of eye glasses, the way I did as a child.  Hours and DAYS of enjoyment, laughter, and cultural exchange! Then we danced the Macarena...

  57. Senegal Little Pulaar Girl

    A little Pulaar Girl poses for a photo in traditional garb.

  58. Senegal Getting a Little Perspective

    The great baobab trees of Senegal are a good reminder of just how old Africa is.

  1. Senegal Lucky in Love

    Sept-place rides were usually exercises in mental oblivion.  Two hours on horrible, pitted Senegalese roads was enough to make anyone fear for their safety, and my usual companions in shared sept-place cars were annoying young men brimming with marriage proposals.  I preferred to sleep or bury my nose in a book.  But one afternoon I ended up beside a pleasant-faced woman who introduced herself, in perfect English, as Anta. “I live in Kaolack,” she explained, “But I grew up in The Gambia.  Fa...

  2. Senegal Tangana

    There are very few things that could get me to step out of the brightly lit miniature America known as the Peace Corps regional house onto the dark sketchy streets of Kaolack at night, but freshly fried eggs and potatoes is one of them. Let me paint for you a picture of how I went about acquiring my dinner last night. Stepping out of the front door of the regional house feels a bit like stepping onto another planet. Headlights wink through a haze of dust hanging in the air, silhouetted f...

  3. Senegal Falling Asleep

    The sudden and strong wind that usually brings rain starts before dawn this morning, and since I live in fear of my hut collapsing with every breeze, I wake up. With no real anxiety, I sleepily make a mental list of what to collect from the ruin, the rocks and mud: my wallet and cell phone, my Senegalese work permit, my two passports (Peace Corps kids are just that cool), a sweater. I curl my feet up away from the part of my bed that inevitably gets soaked in every downpour and poke my cat un...

  4. Senegal Queen for a Day!

    Near the end of my Peace Corps tour, I received a call from Chicago. It was from the Oprah Winfrey Show. She wanted to know if I would like to be a guest on her Mother's Day Show. "Why of course!".  I prepared a short video clip from Senegal for Harpo Studios which was shown on the show.  We surprised my daughter who thought I was still in Senegal,  with  my presence. I was given limosine service and great hotel accomodations. I felt like a queen for a day. What a way to top off my ...

  5. Senegal "White person, your hair is so pretty. But, your body is dirty."

    For eighteen months, I lived in Senegal, West Africa.  For eighteen months, I listened to strangers, acquaintances and, at times, my closest friends refer to me as “toubab.” Toubab is the name given to white foreigners. Sometimes it’s used as an identifier.  I would hear my sister say over the phone, “You know, Bienta Toubab.”  Which was important because I was living in a family that had four women named Bienta. But it was still hard.  It was never, “Bienta Voluteer,” since I ...

  6. Senegal The Queer Quiz

    One of my proudest achievements in service, thus far, did not include attempts to end malaria, to promote nutrition for small children, or even to introduce an alternative fuel source.  No, instead, my moment of glory came in the administration of a quiz---a "queer quiz", to be exact. At the tail end June, Gay Pride Month in America, five other volunteers joined me at the Thiès Training Center to deliver a day-long seminar on sexual orientation and alternative lifestyles.  Our targ...

  1. Senegal Easter Egg Tutorial

    On Easter Sunday, I shared some holiday traditions with my Senegalese Girls Club.  We dyed Easter eggs and made "cascarones" (a Mexican Easter tradition of filling colored eggs with confetti, or in our case, millet, and using these to crack on someone's head.)  In this video, the girls are explaining what they learned in their native language, Wolof.

  2. Senegal Hoopiness!

    I host a Girls Club in my neighborhood which meets twice a month. I try to involve the girls in creative thought and play.  This week, we made hoops from PVC pipe, connectors, and electrical tape and learn some basic moves.  They were movin' and groovin' in no time--quick learners!  Just before this video was shot, I challenged the girls to hoop in silence for 5 minutes.  As you can see (hear) this didn't really work that well.  The high-pitched moaning is an attempted form of commuication.



Map of Senegal
program dates
current volunteers
cumulative volunteers

Countdown to Weekly Contest Deadline!

“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.