Written by CorpsAfrica/Senegal Volunteer Mr. Abdoulaye Bouna Ndiaye
Following a long road with stopovers and courtesy visits to the local authorities, there is nothing like a nice experience of crossing the Atlantic Ocean by canoe to reach my home site, my new house “Bettenty.” The uniqueness of this experience is that we have to wait for the high tide to cross the ocean. With the beautiful star in a beautiful canoe, accompanied by a gentle freshness of the sea winds, I felt at some point in the middle of nowhere looking on the horizon the wide of my island waiting for me.
An hour and a half later we arrived at the landing dock. Knowing neither the spoken language “Soce » nor anyone, I was wisely waiting for my new family. Immediately a youngster approached and seized my suitcase without saying anything! He had to guess that I am the volunteer they were waiting for, given my get-up and my attire (laughter). I followed him naturally, knowing that he is my new brother. A warm welcome was reserved for me in addition to a good fish porridge for dinner.
The next morning was a warm contact with my community that was eager to know me. After a brief introduction on my part, they showed me their interest in having the ideology of CorpsAfrica in their community: volunteering by Africans and for the benefit of Africa. I was invited to discover the community radio of Bettenty, which is a real social network and a means of marketing and communication for all the events in the community.
From the village chief who renamed me “Alkal Mane,” to the imam, to the notables, to all the authorities, I quickly joined with their joy of living and their humility. The fact I was speaking with some clumsiness and my particular accent with the local languagé “soce” made them laugh a lot. I think I could not expect more and honestly, I can say that I feel more at home than in the urban environment. What impressed me most is that this community leads a very healthy lifestyle, in piety and sharing.