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Bismila moon (welcome to you all)

On Jaaraama! (both “thank you” and “hello” in my native language of Pulaar),

My name is Samba Sow and I will be one of your instructors this summer alongside Babacar and Claire. I wanted to share a bit more about myself before we all meet in-person come July.

I am Senegalese and I was born in a small village, Temento Samba, in the South of Senegal in the Kolda region. I was born and grew up in rural southern Senegal, where I attended primary school and junior high. 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.

My favorite word is “share,” and I love sharing about my culture, language, food, religion, and life experiences. This love of sharing drew me to teaching after graduating from university: I love sharing with my students and colleagues, learning together and from each other.

After graduating from university, I served as a supervisor for CADRE, an education and development NGO, and taught French and English for private school. In 1998 my love of language, teaching, and sharing my culture drew me to work for the US Peace Corps, where I became a language and cross-cultural trainer. At Peace Corps, I taught French and Pulaar before being promoted to worked as a Cross-Cultural Coordinator. I loved connecting Peace Corps volunteers with families, sharing and building relationships across cultures. I brought this love of cultural exchange with me when I immigrated to the US in 2004. In the US, I have also taught English as a Second Language classes for interested staff at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

I am so happy and excited to work with Dragons and you on this summer program. 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.

I am also very passionate about futbol/soccer, and I love to make people laugh, have fun, and tell proverbs. I love my family and my community is my best friend.

On Jaaraama/Merci,

~Samba Sow