Senegal

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“Toothpaste” by E.T. Stafne (Senegal)
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A Writer Writes: BULLETIN BOARD — A poem by Ann Neelon (Senegal)
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Senegal RPCV Killed in Mali Attack
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Feast & Sacrifice First Partnered Production of Posh Corps
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PCVs in Senegal Are Well Wired Thanks to Chris Hedrick!
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Innocence Melts Obstinacy
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The Last Ride
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Review of Molly Melching (Senegal 1976-79) However Long the Night
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African Time
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Helen Hildebrandt (Tunisia 1966–68, Senegal 1973–75)

“Toothpaste” by E.T. Stafne (Senegal)

  E.T. Stafne (Senegal 1994–96) • I never knew such goddamn pain in all my life. My fingers searched out the offending patch of skin and found it just above my mouth. In my groggy, half-awake half-asleep state it felt like a fist-sized plug of tobacco shoved between my teeth and upper lip. That explained the bulging I felt, but not the intense pain. Slowly, I rose up from the hot and uncomfortable foam mattress, threw aside the frayed Peace Corps-issued mosquito net, and dragged myself over to the lone mirror in my possession, the one on the inside cover of a Silva compass. Not meant for self-inspection of deformities, its size did not allow for the full effect of horror that I would have realized with a regular-sized mirror. This small one gave me the illusion that it wasn’t all that bad, just a small bump. But as I . . .

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A Writer Writes: BULLETIN BOARD — A poem by Ann Neelon (Senegal)

  BULLETIN BOARD Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978–79) • When I discovered that all the postcards of black authors had been defaced, I heard my voice crackling, as in a radio transmission from outer space. The world was waiting for me to deliver an important message, but I was an ______ astronaut, not a poet. The best I could do was paraphrase someone else’s efforts: “That’s one small step back for a man, one giant leap backward for mankind.” Through the window of my classroom, I could see the Columbia Point Housing ______ Project rising up in front of me like a lost planet. Asphalt and cinder blocks were its most distinctive surface features. I remembered the alien boy who had landed from there in my classroom. When I called on him to read, he had inched his long black finger across the page, sounding out each syllable as if he were in . . .

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Senegal RPCV Killed in Mali Attack

U.S. Victim of Mali Attack Worked on Women’s Health By LIAM STACKNOV. 20, 2015 New York Times Anita Ashok Datar, an American public health worker from the Washington suburbs, was killed Friday when gunmen attacked a luxury hotel in Mali‘s capital, Bamako, killing at least 19 people and taking as many as 100 more hostage. She is the only American known to have died in the attack, according to United Nations officials. Ms. Datar, who lived in Takoma Park, Md., loved the fiction of Jhumpa Lahiri and Zadie Smith and was the mother of a young son, Rohan. Her Facebook page has pictures of the two of them together during a series of family milestones: vacations, Halloween and the first day of school. In a statement released Friday, her family said that of all her accomplishments, Ms. Datar was most proud of him. “We are devastated that Anita is gone – it’s unbelievable to . . .

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Feast & Sacrifice First Partnered Production of Posh Corps

Alan Toth (South Africa 2010-12) who created Posh Corps Website has announced their first RPCV partnered production, Feast & Sacrifice.  As Alan writes, “Feast & Sacrifice is a remarkable film by RPCV Clare Major, about a family in Senegal struggling with rapid globalization. We talk a lot about Peace Corps Volunteers, but this may be the first film to focus on a Peace Corps host family.” This award winning film includes educational commentary about Peace Corps service in Senegal, and it is  available at poshcorps.com. A graduate of the University of Texas Austin’s Radio-TV-Film department and of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s documentary program, Clare Major (Senegal 2004-06) has been freelancing in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2007, working in both video production and postproduction. She has worked for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired Magazine, and Adobe Systems, among others. In the Peace Corps . . .

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PCVs in Senegal Are Well Wired Thanks to Chris Hedrick!

Chis Hedrick (Senegal 1988-90) will be leaving his position as Senegal Peace Corps CD this June. He has been CD in his country of service since 2007. The Peace Corps, however, will still be in the family. His wife, Jennifer Beaston Hedrick (Senegal 1997-99), who has been the COO of Tostan for the past 6 years, is becoming the Peace Corps’ CD in Rwanda. (Tostan is the human rights NGO that has been recognized for its success in reducing female genital cutting and forced early marriage.  It was founded by another PCV Molly Melching (Senegal 1976-79).) Previously Jennifer Hedrick worked at Microsoft, Citigroup and the Grameen Foundation Technology Center. She has her  MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. For the last 25 years, her husband, Chris Hedrick, has been focused on the intersection of technology, development and learning,  and was recently recruited by Kepler to become their CEO. . . .

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Innocence Melts Obstinacy

by Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) This essay won the 1997 Moritz Thomsen Award for Best Short Work about the Peace Corps Experience • IN THE MARKETPLACE OF DAKAR, Senegal, amid the welter of vegetables, chickens, dried fish and shouting women, a small boy leans against a crumbling wall staring into space. His bare toes knead the sand; the rags he wears flop around his skinny frame. A gang of older boys push and shove their way past him, turning to jeer. The boy leaps into a ninja position, hands like scissors, knees bent on rigid legs. He must have studied the nearby movie poster where a ninja film had been showing. His eyes are fierce and belong to the world of warriors. The older boys laugh and walk on as the child glares after them balefully. His dirt-colored pants have two rips down the back. At the back of his . . .

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The Last Ride

by Elise Annunziata (Senegal 1996–99) The following work was first published at PeaceCorpsWriters.org in November, 2002. In 2003 it was the winner of the Moritz Thomsen Award for Peace Corps Experience Award. • I HAD SAID SO OFTEN that leaving my Senegalese village, Keur Madiabel, would the most difficult part of my three-year Peace Corps service. Every time a farewell scene crept into my mind, I banished it quickly and vowed to think about it later. But, before I accepted the reality of my departure, “later” was looming over my head and it was time to drive — for the last time — from my village to the regional capital, with a fraction of my original possessions thrown into the backseat of a Peace Corps vehicle. o My last full day Most of the afternoon on my last day in Keur Madiabel, I spent talking with my adoptive family, Ousmane . . .

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Review of Molly Melching (Senegal 1976-79) However Long the Night

However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s (Senegal 1976-79) Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph by Aimee Molloy HarperCollins/Skoll Foundation, $25.99 252 pages 2013 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-95) Molly Melching sat by the bedside of her dear old friend and mentor, Alaaji Mustaafa Njaay, who lay dying in his small hut in a Senegalese village.  He breathed with difficulty as he whispered to her., “You are trying to accomplish great things, but nothing is going to come easy for you.  …  Your work will be like electricity: it has a beginning, but no end. Continue to listen and learn from the people, and you will move forward together.”  After a long pause, he spoke again, calling her by her Senegalese name. “Sukkeyna Njaay, things will become even more difficult for you.  But always remember my words and never lose hope. Lu guddi gi yagg . . .

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African Time

by Pat Owen (Senegal 2003–05) Posted on the blog of PeaceCorpsWriters.org on October 5, 2005 • RAMADAN STARTED THIS WEEK, a holy month of fasting for over a billion Muslims around the world.  Every year there is heated debate among astronomers as to exactly what day Ramadan begins, as it all depends on when the new moon of the ninth lunar month appears.  Eclipses, clouds, and astronomical calculations all play a role.  Religious leaders line up on opposing sides, too, albeit for different reasons.   Some of them say that Muslims throughout the world should conform to an announcement coming from Saudi Arabia; others say that different regions should make their own decisions about when to begin the fast, depending on their view of the moon. If you are a Muslim living in a remote part of Africa, all this debate doesn’t matter. I know, because last year at this time . . .

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Helen Hildebrandt (Tunisia 1966–68, Senegal 1973–75)

Monday, November 21 6:18 pm MY NAME IS Helen Hildebrandt. I am from Wheat Ridge and Lakewood, Colorado. I was a kindergarten teacher in Sidi Amor Bou Hadjla, Tunisia and an English teacher in Bizerte, Tunisia from 1966 to 1968, and an English teacher in Ziguinchor, Senegal from 1973 to 1975. I have many vivid memories of my Peace Corps experiences. I can still see the Bizerte children happily playing barefooted at the community water faucet. I remember the frail Tunisian man who carried our two beds on his head all the way across the capital city of Tunis. I recall the 14-year-old Senegalese student who implored me to accept his homework paper in spite of the burnt fringes explaining that his young sister had knocked over the candle while he was studying and he couldn’t spare another sheet of paper. And I reflect on the Senegalese man who walked . . .

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