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We arrived in Babak at around 3 am Our bus picked up us in the parking lot We met with our translators We traveled to the Beacon of Hope Day 1-Beacon of Hope : Day 1-Beacon of Hope We arrived at 3 AM at the Dakar Airport and traveled to the Beacon of Hope. The Beacon of Hope is a hotel located close to the airport specifically for missionaries to regroup before traveling to their destinations Beacon Of Hope : Beacon Of Hope Our Rooms : Our Rooms The Arch-Way : The Arch-Way Money Exchange : Money Exchange Just after leaving the Beacon of Hope : Just after leaving the Beacon of Hope Goree Island : Goree Island After leaving the Beacon of hope we traveled about 20 miles to take a ferry boat to Goree Island. Goree Island is where captured African slaves were held and sold to other countries. It was the closest I have ever come to paradise Slain in the Spirit : Slain in the Spirit On the boat to Goree Island we were accompanied by about 250 Muslims. They were traveling to the Island to find a man they believed had been recently reincarnated from a Muslim leader that died a few months before. They sang non stop chants and praises. As we were leaving the boat a commotion came from the exit way. A teenage Muslim girl had been “Slain in the Spirit” while worshiping. She suffered from a seizure and was being forced to the ground on her stomach while a very large Muslim woman sat on top of her trying to hold her still. Goree : Goree We had a wonderful tour guide that showed us around the Island. It was very small, about 1,000 people live there year round, but it is mostly a tourist attraction. Natives lined the pathways with their little shops attempting to make any sale they could. The most popular items sold were jewelry, paintings, clothing, and sand art. Sand Art : Sand Art Slide 29: We climbed higher and higher, the seconds passed like minutes and our limbs ached and shook from exhaustion. The tour guide said it would all be with it though. And you know what, he was right… The City of Thies : The City of Thies After we left the Beacon of Hope we traveled to the city of Thies. Because it was a Holy Week, Mohammads Birthday, the traffic was horrible. A trek that should have taken an hour and a half took us six hours. Slide 34: No matter where you go in Senegal, someone, somewhere, will try to sell you something. As we waited in traffic we had hundreds of people approach the bus, shoving fruits, toys, clothes, calling cards, etc through the windows of the bus. The vendors were relentless in their pursuit to make just a single cent to take home to their families. Slide 37: African Times Square! No kidding, that’s actually what they called it. Slide 38: We stayed at La Massa Massa, a wonderful hotel, where we met the sponsors of MIS and traveled to MIS headquarters for orientation. Will and Nancy Chandlier : Will and Nancy Chandlier Will and Nancy were probably the kindest, gentlest, and most humorous people I will ever have the pleasure of meeting. They took the time to personally get to know each one of us, all at the same time juggling our schedule, their schedule, and about 40 other sponsored villages. MIS Headquarters : MIS Headquarters Orientation : Orientation We watched a brief film about the culture and facts of Senegal, Africa. We got the chance to reflect and ask questions to a member of MIS that gave a short presentation about his role in MIS We then were served a Senegalese meal, and were oriented about the proper eating protocol for when we are in the village. Slide 43: When they brought the meal into the room and placed it before us my mouth hung open. I had no idea how I was going to get through the next 10 days. I am an extremely picky eater, and to me this food looked horrible! Little did I know, this meal was probably the closest I was going to get to normal food. Once we got into the village it was going to get much worse! Slide 45: We all sit in groups of about 5 or 6 around a large bowl. The idea is to eat the pie shaped portion in front of you. Anything you do not want to eat you throw on the floor. La Massa Massa : La Massa Massa After orientation at MIS headquarters, we went to the hotel that we would be staying in until we went to the village. It was called La Massa Massa, which translates basically into, relax, be calm, everything is alright. It was beautiful and serene. We often spent the mornings and nights gathering in the tent on the roof. It is traditional to make the roof of your home another room of the house. Slide 48: The next morning we were met at breakfast by the Chandliers, who were taking us to the MIS hospital called Centre Medical Barthimee. MIS fully funded the build of this hospital, which is in stage 3 out of 5 of being fully completed. Currently the first 3 floors are operational. Their senior doctor, Dr. Ted, and his assistant gave us a tour of the completed areas Slide 57: After our tour of the hospital we began our trek to the village of Babak It was about an hour off the paved road We ran into a little trouble on the way…. Slide 60: But finally, after getting stuck 3 times, we arrived in the village. All the children came out to greet us and ran along side of the bus. The bus dropped us off to where we would spend time with the children and eat dinner. We also helped the women preparing dinner Slide 62: We attempted to help the women prepare the dinner but they wouldn’t allow it. They cook for the entire village, around 1,200 people. Every meal is rice with some sort of meat topping with vegetables Slide 65: After we ate dinner we played games with the children We brought out all the toys that had been donated, like soccer balls, frisbees, etc. Slide 66: Sand Sickness Remember the pandemic that we had a few years ago when the children in America would eat lead paint? Well, that was caused by a diet deficiency. These children have exactly the same thing. Many of them eat the sand of the African desert , and the bacteria makes the children mentally retarded. When they stop eating the sand, they go back to normal. It is amazing to see a normal child that just last year was mentally retarded! Slide 68: The children were very mean to each other They would beat each other with sticks and push other children into the sand The older children ruled Slide 69: After we stayed in the village until dark, we went back to our hotel for dinner and sleep. The next day we would get up and go back to the village where we would stay for 3 days. When we arrived we went to the village compound of pastor Antoine and his family. It is customary to greet your friend before you go to your house. Ideally, you extend a greeting to them, then retreat to your house and wait for them to come to you. Adoption : Adoption In the village of Babak, it is a great sign of respect to be adopted into a family. A village member will choose you to take their last name and you will be adopted into the family. My village name is Mariem Gaye I am a younger sister and mother, and was the only one to be adopted on our trip. My sister with her children : My sister with her children The shower : The shower The Bathroom The toilette : The toilette Slide 78: We spent the day in church with the Christian village members. Afterwards, we made balloon animals for the children. Big mistake. It was hot and the balloons popped faster than we could make them. Then we ran out and gave out stickers and candy. The children have no concept of organization or patience The Church : The Church The massive surge of children. We had to retreat to the library : The massive surge of children. We had to retreat to the library Slide 86: After church and games the children went home and we began our setup for the night. The boys were to sleep in tents while the girls slept in the library Slide 90: The first night that we stayed in the village there was a Muslim celebration going on close to us. They had a microphone and speakers They chanted and sang and spoke The celebration lasted into the early hours of the morning Needless to say, we didn’t sleep too well that night Slide 91: The next morning we got up and had breakfast Every meal has a portion of onions and bread We had eggs with onions We walked to the health hut to prepare for the medical clinic that would take place that day I chose to stay with my mother and perform medical procedures Slide 94: Hundreds of people gathered outside the but in an orderly fashion to be seen Dr. Ted and his assistants from the Barthimee clinic would be driving out to meet us for the medical clinic We went into the hut and unloaded the medications that had been donated for us to take along. Slide 97: We saw many patients that day We gave the children crayons and coloring pages to pass the time while their parents were seen The routine fix for pretty much anything was tylenol. We saw many cases that needed much more, but we had nothing else. Most people I believe we truly helped Some, I fear we did not catch in time… Warning : Warning The following graphic depictions include nudity and gore Viewer discretion is advised Slide 99: I discovered this little boy waiting at the end of the line before the Barthimee team arrived. Although we were not supposed to begin without them, he needed help and he needed it fast. I quickly scooped him up and brought him into the clinic. My mother (our only nurse) proceeded to examine him. We needed to soak his entire body before we could undress him, because his clothes were stuck to his skin with his blood. We did the best we could to not hurt him, but there was nothing we could do. We undressed him and his mother held him down while we took a scrub brush and iodine and scrubbed all the scabs off of the sores on his skin. I have never heard a child scream in pure pain the way this child did. My heart broke for these people. We saw 3 more cases of the same thing that day. Our team decided to band together and pay for this little boy to be taken to the hospital. He had sores covering 85% of his body. He waited 3 months before seeing a doctor. Cases we saw : Cases we saw Malaria Pneumonia Broken Bones Fungus Burns Bites Infertility Menopause Typhiod Slide 102: After the medical clinic we brought all the children to the school yard We played games with them until it was time for dinner We went back to our area and rested and had quiet time before returning for dinner and the Jesus movie Slide 105: On our second day in the village we devoted to the children We played games with them Taught them dances And just gained their trust Slide 109: We did three things on our final day in the village. Travelled to our sponsored children Walked through the entire village Met with the chief Slide 110: We lured the other children away from the rest of our team by going to a sublet and making balloon animals. It was much easier and calmer than our previous attempt Village Culture : Village Culture It is customary to show gratitude towards another person by giving them something When we arrived in the sublet a woman came over to my mom and told her that she would like to be her friend My mother agreed Right before we left for the day the woman called her over. She had caught and bound a chicken that she wanted to give to my mother to show her gratitude towards my mother for being her friend Village Walk : Village Walk After the sponsored children we all met back up and took a tour of the village The idea was that we could greet the people of the village and be friendly so that they could get to know us and us know them The entire village is about 10 square miles Slide 121: We walked through the village for quiet some time before arriving at the sublet of the chief He was an old quiet man We needed to show a large amount of respect for him We practiced the things we could or could not do Slide 123: After leaving the village we returned to the hotel La Massa Massa for a night of rest and relaxation The next day we met up with Dr. Ted and his medical team On the way to the Jericho Project we witnessed a horrible car accident We stopped because we were a medical team and could assist There was no use, there were no survivors. Jericho Project : Jericho Project The Jericho Project is a giant Christian concert for the surrounding villages It took us 4 hours to get there, 3 of those spend driving in the desert. Want to know why people ride horses in the desert? Slide 126: All together we got stuck about 9 times in the 2 days that we went Some of our team listened to the concert Some were in the medical clinic Some were doing activities with the children Day 1 I was in the medical clinic Day 2 I was with the children Warning : Warning The following images depict graphic scenes Viewer discretion is advised Slide 131: We ate out of the communal bowls prepared by the women Slide 132: After we ate we left for the day and returned to La Massa Massa We then went back on the second day I was working with the children along with Nancy and Darla Slide 137: After leaving Jericho for the last time, we returned to our hotel to pack We left around 8 am the next morning to go back to Babak We arrived at the Beacon of Hope around 11 and had some time to rest before going to the market We spent our last day shopping for African souvenirs Slide 139: In Africa, it is customary to barter for things We were fortunate enough to have Socres with us, and he bargained a wonderful price for all our baskets Slide 141: The Taliban were constantly roaming the streets looking for trouble They were often seen threatening or arguing with someone Slide 145: Call to Mosk was 5 times a day, day and night When you heard the call you immediately stop what you are doing and pray to the East Slide 146: Every shop had basically the same thing, all hand made The shop keepers would prey upon you as you walked by, literally pulling you out of the street into their shop Slide 148: We left the Beacon of Hope the next day at 11:45pm and drove the 15 minutes to our airport We took off at around 3 am and arrived in New York around 8am US time The flight lasted about 9 hours, there is a 4 hour time change We arrived in time to walk into church at the end of the service truly changed people. 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