Senegal Experience

by | May 26, 2010 | Service Projects | 0 comments

One Evening we were at a family dance party. I decided to hold a young child so the dancers would not ask me to dance. The young child sat quietly on my lap and watched the dancers. A little later I noticed that this young child was lightly rubbing my arm with her very black hand. She was trying to figure out how my arm was so white. Then a little later she started pulling the hair on my arm. It hurt. None of the black people have hair on their arms. She was trying to figure what those small white things were that were coming out of my white skin. It was a fun experience to see this young girl educate herself on a big old white mans lap.

One of our volunteers at the orphanage became attached to one of the young boys, 11 years old. He had fled his country and was found wandering on the streets of Dakar. He was attending the classes we were holding for the other boys. On the 3rd day at the orphanage our volunteer noticed he was gone. The other boys explained to her that his father from the other country came and got him. He cried when he saw his father. He did not want to go back. His father had placed him in an Islamic school. Very strict and they only studied and memorized the Koran. In the afternoons the boys would be sent out with a bowl on the streets to beg. This is what the Iman expected of each student. If they did not return with the correct amount of money then the boys were beaten by the head master. We could all understand why the
boy did not want to go back with his father. He was fed, safe and taught at the orphanage.


Gordon Carter


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