With a high demand for education in Africa, my conference on visual literacy has attracted not only students but also school teachers and local politicians. During the conference, I explained the importance for schools to integrate a bilingual education (French + regional languages). Indeed, several studies show that learning two languages at a young age favors the process of memorization. This also makes it easier to learn other languages, because the brain is used to passing from one language to another.
What is Give1Project?
What is Equarox Foundation?
Equarox Foundation is an American-Senegalese organization that aims to help communities to gain access to better education through training and project funding. To find out more about them go to their Facebook page and to see more photos about my workshop in Pikine.
The realities and the obstacles
Even though my stay was relatively pleasant, I sometimes felt disconnected from my own country as if I’m not there. When I went out, I did not need to talk, and people noticed right away notice that I was not from here. When I got out of the car to go to the HLM market, the sellers approached me automatically, either in French or English, as if he assumed that I did not speak Wolof. Or when I was talking in Wolof and people were saying to my face, “ ki loumou wax, duma lakk toubab’’ translation “What are you saying, I do not speak the language of whites people.”
I was coming home quite frustrated at not being able to speak with people in my language. This was not the case of a Moroccan friend who could make mistakes or talk a few words in Wolof. It was also at that moment that I understood the frustration of the conference in China, a Franco-Laotian for whom it was taken for a Chinese who was shouting when she spoke English but I with the little Chinese that I had spoken Chinglish (a mixture of Mandarin and English).
In Toronto, my home it is very fast paced and most of us have that GO GO GO mentality where time is a rare and precious commodity. It’s the opposite that I found in Senegal especially in business, but also the fact of being an outsider. No one is waiting for you in Africa; they made me understand it. A month in the country has undoubtedly helped me reconnect with my roots, but it was not enough to build real relationships. Everything was happening too fast.
This trip has given me the need to leave more often and especially the strength to work on other projects that are close to my heart. I will share more of them this year in 2018;). I want to thank my sponsors Equarox Foundation and Give1Project for collaborating with LaPolyglotte.