In our most recent homestay village, there are so many reasons to make you forget about the time and the days. In Temanto Samba, I was told that donkeys help people to figure out the time as they usually bray every 30 minutes. That was true in Temanto Samba where donkeys can be an alarm in the morning. I enjoyed watching and listening to the animals, like donkeys, wandering with goats, sheep, chicken, toads or birds confidently singing on the backs of cows. The community itself in Temanto was full of kids eager to interact and play with us. The parents were always smiling and offering us the names of their children, as if welcoming us as one of their family members. As we pass by, we can hear people calling from different directions inviting us to join their space, meals, and even showing you how to cook food. Among many of the great experiences we had in Temanto Samba, we learned how to make local bread for breakfast and fetch water from the wells. We went to the community garden with mothers and some students harvested peanuts in the field. I personally liked the willingness of the people to share fun, space, and food at anytime. While in Temanto Samba, we were also invited to the naming ceremony at one of the host family. The whole community was there to eat sweet round bread and cola seeds, which were passed around. The community remains together in sweet and bitter situations. It seems that each house belongs to everyone and each child is everyone’s child. To sum up the community feeling in the village, during our last night in Temanto Samba the community members threw a big party as a farewell, filled with lots of acting and dancing.
After our time in Temanto Samba, we continued on to our trek. Students worked as a group to prepare for the one-week X-phase. Students had individuals roles and were in charge of the transportation, food, accommodation, and other activities. One day of the trek, we stopped at a village where there is a tree near a market. Locals say that there is a supernatural woman living in that tree. Many people, including footballers, come to the sacred tree to ask for blessings. It was very interesting to hear what happened to some people who got the share of their blessings from the supernatural woman. We are back in Kedagou now, excited about our recent trek, and wishing you all peace.
Stay blessed and talk to you soon.
Sidonie Emerande (Djama Sow)