Computers, Thanksgiving, cows, rice, etc

Getting ready to head back to America for the holidays, just a few little updates!

Cold season is freezing! And, by that I mean, about 80 degrees and sunny.

The computers for my middle school, vocational school, and health post have arrived in Senegal and are now making their way down to Dabo! The middle school took charge of getting them down from Dakar, which was a bit of a logistical nightmare, and like everything logistical in Senegal, was finally sorted after some good organized chaos. I got to help out one of the teachers with loading up the computers in Dakar. Thank you to those who contributed to this project!!



Thanksgiving in Kolda! Killing chickens (or rather, our house guard killed them for us) for our delicious meal.

DSC02917Kim and Julia got the tough job of de-feathering.

thanksgiving kolda 2

I got the much more fun job of making bruschetta appetizers

thanksgiving kolda

Dinner is served! Me, Diane, Alexia, Adrienne, Christine, Julia, John, and Kim

Dinner is devoured and food coma begins

DSC02926My family recently sold our 2 biggest cows. To them I say, good riddance. They wanted me to take pictures as a souvenir of owning them.


DSC02927Sadio, my kind-of host dad, asked me to take these photos to send to one of his relatives in Spain (who probably contributed to this new house being built). Cutest couple award goes to…



OK, tied for cutest couple. George Michael and Biri are BFF.


I thought I would be missing out on delicious faro rice because my host family doesn’t grow any, but thankfully my host mother received some as a gift! Here’s Mariama pounding it off the stalk, which is a lot of work (yes, I helped).


I’ve been on a real home decor kick lately, and spent a few days painting and making my hut more homier and fighting a losing battle against the termites in my bamboo furniture – we have agreed to disagree, although I did kill a bunch by coating my bookshelf in motor oil, per several recommendations ( and confirmation from Otto Danner that this was a legitimate idea). My hut will now forever smell vaguely of eau de motor oil.


One of the first things I tried to do when I moved in was make a “Bismillah” (welcome in Arabic) sign for my door, the first one was on paper and lasted a couple days, and I’ve finally moved on to something more permanent:


A couple weeks back we had our Girls’ Scholarship Ceremony at the Middle School. Some of the girls’ parents came which was really nice. Thanks again to those who contributed to the scholarships!!


Binta receiving her extra notebooks


Fatou and her award – in addition to their backpack full of school supplies, I gave the 3 winning girls copies of the book “Si longue une lettre” (So long a letter) by Mariama Ba, a great read for female perspective on Senegalese culture, which is required reading for 3eme students.

DSC02914All the girls and some parents at the ceremony. The program that runs this scholarship, SeneGAD, recently held a fundraising half-marathon/10K/5K that I really wanted to go to and had been training for, but as part of my training  for the 10K, I ran 10K about a week before the big event and did something funny to my foot so had to count myself out. However, if you would like to give me credit for trying (George Michael can vouch for our 10K run on bush paths 2 a tiny village I didn’t know existed), bismillah!! Please visit: and indicate in the Note/in honor of section: “Tambacounda Marathon for Girls Education in honor of PCV Sophie Danner”. This will go towards the scholarship program for next school year.

Also, check out this cute video made to advertise for the marathon:

Thank you and Happy Holidays!!!


2 responses to “Computers, Thanksgiving, cows, rice, etc

  1. Love the pic of George Michael and Biri. They do look like BFFs

  2. Very nice pictures as always Sophie. Hopefully the termites are gone from your furniture.

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