Can I just make my arms long enough to reach across the ocean?

senegal.gifAs of this entry, I haven’t heard yet from Mouse *in* Sénégal but she emailed and blahgged from the Madrid airport and should be in Dakar by now if the flight was not delayed. I’m having trouble with the time zones but I *think* she was supposed to arrive at around 8:30 Greenwich Mean Time (Senegal), which is around 4:30 Eastern Daylight Time here (Planet Ann Arbor). *If* I understand it all correctly. Grok grok. You stoopid ol’ witch! grok grok!

Everybody always asks, “what is she doing over there?” The short answer is, “study abroad.” It’s her junior year and Kalamazoo College sends a large percentage (80? 85?) of its students abroad during their junior year. She’s on the “long” program, which is six months. And her particular sojourn is almost exactly six months so, on March 10th, we get to drive over to O’Hare again and pick her up. 270 miles and four hours each way, unless you have to figure out how to purchase an iPod and download the latest version of iTunes to your computer so you can load up your new iPod along the way. That adds an hour or so. 😈 When she gets back, she has a couple weeks to readjust to The USA/Megalopolis/The Planet A2, and then she heads back to Kalamazoo for an intense spring quarter of classes.

What do they *exactly* do over there? They are students and all I know is what the parent booklet says. The first couple of nights all of the students stay at the Baobab Center. At the beginning of the program, they learn the Wolof language. It’s the native language but the lingua franca of the area is French. They are placed with host families on (I think) Wednesday and, if I’m reading right, there’s a seminar on Senegalese culture at the beginning of the program. In October, they take a course on sustainable development in Senegal and then, in November, they register for university classes. All students have to complete an “Integrative Cultural Research Project” in an area of their interest. That’s it folks. I’m going to guess that one of Mouse’s main interests will involve African fiber arts and I’m sure Mouse will blahg when she can get online (she did *not* take her laptop). I know she’ll tell her own story. If you have questions, lemme know.

The map was shamelessly stolen from Lonely Planet.

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