This day was fantastic. We got to experience so much in only one day. The day started at 7.00 am like every other day at port. Starboard had watch, which meant that we worked from 8.00 am to 11.00 am before our trip to ”Tostan”. Tostan were one of few organistion that we prepared for in school at home. Tostan is an organistion that helps the people in the west african villages to learn how to get a better lifestyle and teach them the importence of equal rights and education at a young age. The majoraty of the population in Senegal had a beliving that if you spoke to your new born child, it would be taken by an evil spiruit. That resulteted in a lot of children getting a hard time concentrating.
The most important thing Tostan does is to prevent the female genitils cutting and for the women to have thier own choice. They talked about many important things that us swedes never would even think someone didn’t know about life and childcare. When we first arrived at Tostan we all were hungry and a little tierd from the bumpy road and 1 h 30 minutes buss ride. They were the nicest and we got food and a big welcome with music and dance. We got the traditional senegales dish and we ate on the floor in groups. We didn’t get one plate each, insted we got one big serving platter for each group. It tasted amazing but a little too spicy for my opinion. It was rice, fish, aburgin and a lot of vegetables we couldn´t identify.
After the meal and a lession/presentation we got to learn the most spoken languages in Senegal, wolof. French is the counties official langue but there’re maybe a few procent of the population that actually speak french. Everyone we meet speak wolof or some other simular language. If you want to say ”my name is Elsa” your gonna say it ”Elsa laa tudd” in wolof and if you want to ask how are you, you say ”Na nga def?”. We use theese frases everytime we ride a taxi or go in to a store. Super fun to be able to talk to the people in Dakar in their own language.
The last, but also best thing we did before we drove home were visiting a villiage with people that work with Tostan. They sang and played music, danced a lot and had a play prepered for us. We got to meet all theese people and talk with them about everything. Even if we didn’t speak the same language we were able to use a few phreses in wolof, french, english and use our hands to comunicate with each other. There were a lot of kids and we played and danced with all of them. We didn’t want to leave the villiage, but Erling forsed us into the bus and the kids waved us goodbye.
Elsa Lindqvist, Starboard