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Back in Dakar

Hi all

Sorry I didn't get time to type anything with the photos yesterday, I thought the comments I put with them in the photo gallery would come up- I guess not! Most of them were self explanitory, I have some more to add I'll try to give a discription of each:

For my biology friends and students here are some animal and plant photos:

This is a village weaver displaying with his nest trying to attract a female to come live with him!SN851118.jpg

These lizards are fairly common - I believe this is a dominant male, the subordiant males and females have a different coloring, they are mostly grey with some blue/orange spots along their sides. SN851116.jpg

This is a Baobab tree, the national tree of Senegal. We saw lots of them on our way out to Touba, the holy city (the picture of the mosque I posted yesterday was from Touba). This tree is quite large and is found on campus near where we are staying. SN851119.jpg

These are hornbills, they were in the trees outside our residence.

We visited three schools today, The first was a day care for kids 3-5 yrs old. It is public, but the parents need to pay a fee each month. There are only 20 kids in a class there is one for 3yrs one for 4yrs and one for 5 yrs, and it is first come first serve. The school was awesome. SN851113.jpgSN851114.jpg

The second was a French-Arabic school that teaches kids from elementary through high school. It was similar to the public middle school we went to. The kids learn both french and arabic and have lessons in both (math, social studies, etc...) It is semiprivate, mostly an inexpensive private school that is for people who cannot send kids to the good private schools, but want them to get a good education. Even though they have classes in Islam, and there is a mosque there - worship is optional, the kids can pray if they want. Kids from any religion are welcome.

The last place we went to was the Land of the Children. It is a place where kids can get off the street for a while. If a child is lost they will take care of them until the family can be found. They take in runaways until they can resolve family issues and return the kids to their homes and they take in kids that have been sent here from other countries because their parents were promised they would get schooled, but instead the people who do this instead make them beg on the streets for money, until their parents can be found and they can be returned home.

Here is a french class for the kids.
Some of the kids are taught trades, like leather working, and this is a bag made from leather and metal from soda cans. They sell the bags and other items to raise money for the center.

These are the kids singing us songs after we gave them the gifts we brought. One of the songs was "if you're happy and you know it" so we sang it back to them in English. We were the first Americans to ever sing to them!SN851110.jpg

This is the beautiful woman who began the center - I didn't catch her name, but she is famous here. I will find out her name before we left. The child with her has a broken arm. It was a "funny" story. Apparently he was riding his bike and they told him not to because he would get hurt. Then the next day when he woke up he fell out of his bed and broke his arm! SN851109.jpg

Ok, me and my wonderful roomate Mollie are off for an Ice Cream treat. I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to write tomorrow, and we are leaving Wednesday night so we will be busy packing and things that day. So this may be the last entry! We'll see. Take care and I hope to "see" you soon.

Posted by TravelingV 12:16 Archived in Senegal

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Great pictures. The hornbill is very cool. Please look (and ask about) fossils that should be identical to those in North Carolina. They would make a great gift! wink - wink Charles

by mayaman1

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