On Jaaraama! (Both “thank you” and “hello” in my native language of Pulaar)
I am Samba Sow, one of your course instructors for this coming summer in Senegal. I am Senegalese and I was born in a small village, Temento Samba, in the South of Senegal in the Kolda region. I attended my primary and secondary school in Kolda and then spent 2 years in the high school of Tambacounda before moving to Thies, where I finished up my high school studies. I then went to the University of Dakar where I got my Duel II in British & American literature and civilization and also in phonetics.
In 1998, I was hired by the U.S. Peace Corps where I spent 6 years in Senegal as a language trainer and homestay/ cross-cultural coordinator before moving to the U.S., where I have been living up to now. In addition to Peace Corps, I have also worked with other NGO’s that dealt with development and education topics. I’ve also taught English and French teacher in private schools.
I am so happy and excited to work with Dragons and you this semester. This is going to be a wonderful experience, certainly one of the most important of my life and, very likely, of yours too. I cannot wait to meet you, the students that I will be working with, guiding through my home country, and sharing the stories of my life with. I am excited to know that some of you who will be reading my letter will soon be my co-travelers. I am confident that, together, our various experiences and different skills will create a wonderful, exciting, and profound trip.
On a final note, part of my family lives in Thies and the rest in Kolda. I am sure you will have the opportunity, once we get in Senegal, to meet some of them. You may also get the opportunity to stay in my home village; sleeping in earthen huts, milking cows, and drinking sweet tea under a mango tree while also learning about small-scale development projects, religious practices, and the struggles and joys faced by rural Senegalese villagers.
I am looking forward to meeting everyone and starting our journey together.