Back to

Pre-Course Assignment

Let me start first by reminding people to go ahead and post their letter of introduction. There many friends and family waiting to know you. We want you to introduce yourself and tell us about your interests coming into bridge year, your projects- those you have been working on and the future ones- and what you are excited about.

Time is flying and in almost two weeks we will be in Senegal. I am sure Senegal has been in your mind this whole summer and there have been a lot of questions and trying to guess how and what to pack or leave behind. Again this yak board is here for that ; for people to ask questions….even the instructors. All is geared to get you ready and fully equipped for your trip.

While you are getting ready in terms of stuff to bring we also want you to be thinking ahead and putting some thought about what is there to be learned and discovered.

Senegal is a place rich with culture, history, and contemporary issues, and we can’t wait to explore it all  with you. But first, we’d love to know what you are interested in! We’d like to ask each of you to spend some time perusing the vast corners of the interwebs to find something Senegalese that sparks your curiosity — perhaps it’s a musician, or a song that you like, a visual artist, a recipe or type of food, a historical event, contemporary news story. It can be anything! Please do a bit of research (not too much!) and put together a short Yak Post to share with the group whatever you’ve discovered – include a link, or a photo! (See below for inspiration from me and Angelica)

Second, we want you to start focusing on the one of the key elements of your Bridge Year:  service. You are right if you think it is too complex or difficult to fully comprehend but we want you start exploring it. It seems to be everywhere, religion, trade, community… so we want you to spot and appreciate it.

Go ahead and look around you in your local communities or country and try to identify the many aspects of service that are there. Is there any form of service that you admire or question, is there any form that you have not thought as service in the first place ? Talk to people who are doing service, what are some of the challenges they are facing, how do they define service ? Talk to the people who are served, how do they feel about it ? Please write a short personal reflection or journal entry about what service means to you, and be prepared to jump into discussions about service upon our arrival in Senegal.

We have already contacted all of you and have been able to talk to some of you. You can ask clarification questions if you have any, as we expect you to share your answers when we get together. Relax and continue enjoying your families and friends while packing.

Jàmm ak jàmm,


PS. Here is one of my favorite songs from my favorite artist, Carlou D. – Babacar


PPS. I love eating food, reading, and writing about food! Here’s one of my favorite fun stories about Senegal – a short article about how Vietnamese spring rolls became one of Dakar’s most popular street snacks. You can try them right in the center of Yoff! -Angelica