Where There Be Dragonshttp://www.wheretherebedragons.com/program...
3200 Carbon Place Unit 102 Boulder, Colorado 80301 United States
Senegal: Dakar, Rural Areas, Thies
June 28 - August 8
In Senegal, traditional rhythms, dance, art and Terranga (the culture of giving) intersect with striking development issues; this is a program that celebrates the beauty of daily life in a culturally rich and proud nation, while also probing the often harsh realities of an increasingly connected global economy. In Senegal we experience an authentic encounter with a country that embodies modern day Africa's struggle between traditional values and globalization. We start our Senegalese journey in the city of Thies, where we spend a week learning the language, exploring colorful markets, visiting nearby villages, and doing small scale community service art projects. From there we travel to the east and watch the flat desert landscape, scattered with ancient baobab trees, turn into lush, green forests. We settle in the Kedougou region, where we spend 10 days trekking in the foothills of the Guinean mountains. We leave the hills for the southern region of Kolda and spend a week doing home-stays in rural Pulaar villages, with each student living in a small, thatched hut family compound. Along the way we practice the local dialects; engage in lessons focused on international development, and the economic, political, and historical contours of the country; we eat in communal bowls with our hands; and we make lasting connections with the individuals who are kind enough to open their homes to us. As a group, we see that amidst the daily hardships and poverty, it is the character of the Senegalese people that make one so quickly and so completely fall in love with this country.
Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons Senegal: The Warm Embrace of West Africa Summer Abroad Program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change.
29-July 6 Orientation to Dragons Senegal! We'll be based out of the Thies program house, and we'll have a full schedule, which will include:
* Visiting local schools
* Doing language exchanges with new friends from a local English club
* Spending time in villages with Heifer international
* Meeting with local NGOs
* Short urban homestays
* Drumming lessons
* A visit to an incredible textile factory
* A scavenger hunt in the local market
* French, Wolof and Pular language study!
July 4 Party to celebrate American Independence Day in Thies with all our new friends!
July 6 Travel from Thies to Kedougou: Our first real rugged travel experience.
July 7,8 Kedougou: Recover from the journey and rest up for the trek, lessons in the singsong Pulaar greetings
July 9- 13 Depart Kedougou on foot, heading to the spectacular Fula villages of Bandafassi and Dindefello. On route we'll visit animist villages tucked away on remote hillsides, see what is alleged to be the largest baobab tree in Africa, and pitch our tents in small campgrounds along the way. We'll contrast the PulaFouta culture of the Fouta Djallon with the Wolof culture in Thies.
July 14-21 Travel from Kedougou to Kolda, where we'll be in rural village homestays for one week, living the life of our lovely hosts, tending to the animals, working in the rice fields, pounding millet, and playing with children! We will discuss development, participate in village soccer games, and continue language, djembe and African dance lessons.
July 22-27 Choose your own adventure! This time is open to student input, with possible options including home-stays in a Serer village on an island, or perhaps some time in the Gambia.
July 27-August 1 Dene, a Sufi village built on the sand. Babacar will lead lessons focused on Islam and spirituality. Sleeping under the stars in this beautiful beach village, we'll awake to chant and sing with our Sufi friends.
August 1 Attend a Sunday service at a renowned Catholic monastery outside of Thies with spectacular murals, using this as a means of contrasting Islam and Christianity both in West Africa and the United States.
August 2 A day trip to Touba, a central West African Muslim pilgrimage site and home to Mouride brotherhood Cheikh Amadou Bamba's tomb. We will tour the city's mosques and see West African Islam in action.
August 3-6th A beach locale near Dakar, where we will do our closing sessions, students will present their Independent Study Projects, and we'll prepare for home re-entry. We'll also have time to relax on the beach!
August 6-8 Dakar, where we will have time to buy some last minute souvenirs for family and friends in the city's gigantic markets, see the contentious USD 27 million dollar statue that Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has recently had erected, and take a visit to Ile de Goree to explore the island's history as a slave trading center. We'll do our closing ceremony and have a final group dinner.
Tuition includes everything except international flight medical insurance and small personal expenses (personal calls home personal snacks aside from meals laundry services, email/internet cafes, etc.)
American, European, Canadian, Australian, South African, Kiwi, Worldwide and Asian Participants.
Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences. While programs vary in their focus - with some trekking and wilderness intensive, others strong on service and development studies, and still others language-oriented - all Dragons journeys are designed above all else to be fun, safe and honest educational experiences.