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Village Life

Hello all- sorry we’ve been a bit silent lately. We’ve been loving village life here in Temento Samba, the mango trees provide us with a wonderful classroom and shade while the community continues to teach us, make us laugh and bring smiles to our faces even if we don’t always understand what they’re saying. Students are focusing on ISPs and have been diving in deep into their topics. We’ve also had lessons and guest speakers on a range of topics including climate justice, global inequality, women’s empowerment, how the marabout (local Islamic leader) got magical powers and more.

Mama (Owen) has been learning how to make attaya, while Moustapha (Ethan) has been working on his big and beautiful painting, and Marie Balde (Willow) has been learning about traditional dances. Saliou (Jackson) has been playing the Kora and Djembe, Marie Sidibe (Shreya) and Diulde (Jamie) have been learning from the tailor. Kanta (Ace) and Moutar (Hayden) have been furthering their interests in wood work and traditional medicine while Mariama Mbalo (Anna) is looking into childbirth and maternal health here in Temento. Mariama Niamadjo (Isa) is learning about cooking, which is perfect as we are having some new dishes here that we haven’t had elsewhere like “lachiri” millet couscous with peanut and leaf sauce.

We had a wonderful visit to the youth community resource center in Kolda a couple days ago and got to hear about all the work they are doing around youth empowerment and promoting sexual health, protection from HIV and working with communities to prevent early or unwanted marriage and pregnancies. They had awesome murals and artwork in their space spreading their messages, one of the photos says “young people against HIV”. In village we’ve also had Djembe lessons from Mamadou and seen the “concuran” a character who comes out to rid the bad spirits away.

Here in village all the goats and sheep seem to be giving birth, almost one everyday throughout the village. Small goats bring entertainment/cute factor as well as bizarre noises.

Overall, we’re feeling quite spoiled being in this lovely little community that has hosted dragons students for years. It would be untrue to say we’re not thinking about what comes next, with the program winding down, but we are trying to soak up as much as we possibly can here and now.