Thursday, April 15, 2010

On y va!

Here we go!

Last night at my neighborhood rugby bar run by some dude from the South of France they played a bunch of music videos which is awesome because that was the first TV I have seen since I've been here. I saw Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's "Telephone"
Have you seen this craziness? Gaga is wild.

Youssou N'Dour: public health advocate, Senegalese, amazing African music. What else could you ask for in a film? Nothing: I Bring What I Love

Today human rights watch came out with a report exposing the system of exploitation and abuse in Senegal where thousands of boys, between the ages of 4 and 12, called talibés are forced by their Quranic teachers, called marabouts, to beg in the streets seven days a week.
These tiny beggers set up shop between my office and my house so I pass them often. Vraiment, they are everywhere. When I pass them they repeat "cent franc" (100 cfa, 25 cents) until I give them money or they give up. Sometimes I give, sometimes I don't. When I don't they usually follow me for about a minute, their clothes caked in dirt, their thin arms stretched out, skin scarred, and usually they are not wearing shoes on the dangerous sandy streets of Dakar. Sometimes they look so young, like babies. At that age I was a soft, naive, Woodlin Elementary School student. A completely different life. More than anything else I have seen or experienced in Senegal, the daily lives of the talibés remind me how lucky I really am. Please read the press release here.

Life continues here, nothing too major. I can't go to frisbee tonight which is lame because I have to go and get all these questionnaires done. C'est la vie. Alright, gotta go. D'accord, jusqu'à la prochaine fois.


  1. Hey, man. I wanna know if these kids are in training to become those even more aggressive big dudes who hit you up for a prayer donation?

  2. 'Telephone' was banned on TV in the US. Stay away while you can! Keep up the good work and francaise. Good Blog... Uncle John Downunder

  3. Here is the Reuters article in response to the Human Rights Watch report:
    I honestly have no idea who the talibe grow up into but I think about it a lot. 'Telephone' got banned? Lady Gaga too hot for US TV? Merci beaucoup Oncle John! A bientôt j'espère.