In picture: Sidy teaching our Wolof class. In Wolof, he asked and I told him what my American dad’s name was. Turns out “Ray ma” means kill me. There are also some other interesting words on the board at this moment.
I thought I would share the classes that I’m taking this semester in Dakar. All the classes are taught in French by Senegalese professors. Most people have Friday classes but I’m lucky enough not to!
Country Analysis – 4 hours a week; M 9-11am, W 1-3pm
This class talks a lot about the history, geography, politics, and social culture in Senegal. We talk about the current events in the newspaper each class. We also write essays about our daily experiences and what we are learning.
Wolof – 8 hours a week; M 12-2pm, Tu 12-2pm; W 4-6pm; Th 9-11am
My favorite class and favorite professor! Sidy (pronounced C-D) is amazing. He is trained as a Peace Corps professor so his methodology is great. It’s impossible not to enjoy learning a language with him, no matter who you are.
French – 2 hours a week; Tu 9-11am
Half of the 12 students on our program are in this French class with me, and the other half take French on Fridays. I chose to be (and need to be) in the lower of the two levels of French. It’s nice learning French grammar in this class, but I probably learn more French just from the French instruction in all my other classes.
Education & Literacy – 3 hours a week; Tu 3-6pm
There are five tracks that students can take – this one, Public Health, Arts and Culture, Environment, and Economics and Alternative Economies. I chose the Education and Literacy track because it’s something I may be interested in for my career and I want to explore more. An even bigger reason than that is I love kids, (specifically little ones). For the second half of the semester I may want to be placed in a school, unless I can get an internship in something related to international politics or law or something.
International Development – 3 hours a week; W 9-12pm
This is my homework heaviest class. We mostly talk about different development theories and learn about the different states of development in various African countries.
Research Methods – 2 hours a week; Th 12-2pm
Waly, our coordinator here, teaches this class. He’s one of my favorite people I’ve ever met. In this class we talk about how Senegalese culture is, how our internship phase will look, and various other interesting topics. We haven’t talked too much about research methods yet but I’m sure that is coming. Waly is also in charge of placing us into an internship we’re interested in.
Learning Wolof: Am naa jëkër bu am doole, I have a husband who is strong. (An appropriate response when being hit on)