Good morning, friends! Over the last few days, I’ve received and opened around 200 letters from World Vision! These letters are the annual progress reports for each of our sponsored kids, so while it’s already quite the pile, I’m still expecting more.
These progress reports list all the basics (name, age, health status, grade in school/if they are attending, and an update on what’s going on in their particular community). However, it also comes with an updated photo of the child and a hand-written worksheet, on which the kids describe their favorite foods, what they like to listen to, and things about their country. I won’t share them all, of course, but I wanted to share some of the most common answers and a few responses that stuck out to me. Hope you enjoy and learn a little more about what it’s like to be one of these amazing kids. Happy #sponsoredkids Friday!
Favorite things to eat: Banana, mango, pineapple, apricots, fish & rice, couscous, chicken yassa, meat kebabs
Favorite things to smell: Favorite dishes, flowers, & perfume. (One kid talked about loving the smell of his dad’s cologne)
Favorite things to hear: Music of the tam-tam and guitar, singing of the doves and parakeets, the radio, the bell at school that signals recess (ha), and the roosters that wake them up.
Favorite things to see: Their school, their houses (or houses they think are big/pretty), their friends, & their families.
Favorite things to touch: Their pets, which could be cows, goats, sheep, dogs, or cats, and soccer balls. Got a lot of cat and soccer lovers in Senegal!
Favorite musicians: Youssour N’dour, Waly Seck, and Pape Diouf
Other things I noticed:
When asked what they would take a picture of to show us if they could, they almost always mentioned their family or friends. Many children talked about valuing their parents’ advice, loving their friends, and being happiest when they were all together. I love that this was such a common theme.
Several kids also mentioned wishing they could show us their baobab tress, which are apparently big enough that people take naps on them frequently!
Also, apparently, Senegalese wrestling is a big deal. It started as a folk tradition for the Serere people and has morphed into a popular national sport!
– Chicken yassa recipe: https://www.africanbites.com/yassa-chickenpoulet-au-yassa/
– Tam-tam drums and dancing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FNJnLjbA54
– Video of a song by Youssou N’dour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GwRQOVNuLw
From Abdoul Gadiry Diallo (17): “If you were to visit, I’d show you a photo of my birthday, because we were happy.” (This is actually a big deal, because so many Senegalese people don’t have birth certificates. This means his community has worked hard to give their citizens rights, including knowledge of their date of birth, which is essential to official identification.)
From Coumba Baldo (17): “If you were to visit, I’d take a photo of the savings group of my village because every week our mothers are meeting to save.” (These savings groups are trained by WV, but fully run by local villagers. Most of the funds saved are to help individuals put their kids through school, but some is saved to helped other families in crisis in their village.)