Showing posts from April, 2010

Senegal 2010 - the Team Win Song!

During the last few days of our trip, some of the Team got together to start writing "Team Win Song" by Team Win, which was then finished off once we got back by Rolo. I'll keep you posted as to the release date of the single on iTunes (only joking!) Here's the final version of the lyrics:

We left our homes today,
We travelled far away.
To Madrid we took a plane,
7 hour wait what a pain.

Went to the Bernabeau,
Concrete what's that about.
Exit was drawing near,
Dakar were almost here.

Team Win are everywhere,
Senegal and anywhere,
We will always be as one.
Even when the trip is done,
Through all our smiles and grins,
Team Win always wins.

Got on the airplane,
No film, what a pain.
Finally landed now,
Fought our way through the crowd.

Drogba machete boy,
Sword was real, not a toy.
Afraid we'd lose a limb,
So we ran away from him.


Sophie late but not alone,
In all our hearts since she left home.
Scorching desert in our van,

Senegal 2010 - Day 14 (Tues.) - farewell to Senegal!

Well, all good things come to an end, and so it was that the day of our journey back arrived. That morning we presented to the Brothers at Diourbel (including the community Superior, Frère Jean-Baptiste who had come back the day before from Brothers' meetings in Togo) a data projector, dvd player, amplified speakers and a couple of dvds: the same setup that we used and left in Richard-Toll. The Brothers were delighted at the possibilities that the equipment offered for use in their secondary school there.
We also left them our 12 mosquito net tents that we had been using. The Brothers were going to pass them on to some of the 45 or so boarding pupils they who either don't have nets or have very poor ones. They assured us that these would make a real difference to the young people and would be very much appreciated.
All of this (and the equipment for Richard-Toll, including sports gear, etc...) was paid for through the money that our Team Win members managed to raise themselves, …

Senegal 2010 - Day 12 (Sun. - conclusion) + Day 13 (Mon.)

Day 12 (conclusion):
Upon arrival at Diourbel in the early evening we off loaded the bus, set up our mosquito nets + beds for the night, then set off on foot for a nearby restaurant, guided by Frère Augustin (from Togo) and Frère Adolphe (see previous article). In the meantime, whilst waiting to go to our rooms/dormitories with our bags, I managed to bang my head on a low-hanging, knobbly beam of wood and open up 2 wounds on my scalp. I've always been a bit of a "bleeder", so the flow of crimson was quite dramatic. But other than seeing stars for a few minutes there seemed no serious damage. Good thing I've a thick Irish skull, I suppose. A layer of Germolene was applied and I was ready to go and eat with the others - hamburgers, roast chicken, steak, chips!! Team Win couldn't believe their eyes! An end-of-trip indulgence, but one they thoroughly deserved.

The Brothers' school in Diourbel is in a fairly swanky neighbourhood: a city Governor living opposite, a…

Senegal 2010 - Day 12 (Sun.) part 2

So, after having spent a wonderful 9 days at Richard-Toll, we now headed for Diourbel, a 5-6 hour road journey. But the plan was to do a little tourism on the way at Touba, a town which has grown in recent years (and is still growing) to become one of the biggest and most important in the whole of Senegal at well over 500,000 inhabitants. It's growth can be attributed to the importance of its Great Mosque, completed in 1963 and possibly the biggest in Africa outside of the northern white Arab countries. Frère Adolphe, a French Brother in community at Diourbel (1 hr from Touba) came to meet us there and organised for us to have a tour around the mosque with a guide.

The Great Mosque at Touba. Here's some info from Wikipedia that explains Touba's importance:
"Touba is the holy city of Mouridism. Aamadu Bàmba Mbàkke, Senegal's most famous Sufi, (the founder of the city of Touba back in 1887) was more than a spiritual master; he had a social mission as well, that of r…

Senegal 2010 - Day 12 (Sun.) part 1

Before I tell you about our last half day at Richard-Toll, after which we headed for Diourbel, let me tell you about a hilarious incident that took place on Friday night.

Remember that I described how the (rather self-important) local parish priest at Richard-Toll had a habit of rabbiting on for +45 mins. in his sermons, as well as giving supplementary sermons at both the beginning and end of Mass, well, he got a polite, but nonetheless pointed telling off from our very own Bro. Francis on Friday evening after the priest had come to the Brothers' community house to celebrate Mass as he does every Friday. With him were the curate, a lovely young Nigerian priest, Fr. Charles and another young priest who had served as a Deacon in the parish a year or 2 ago and is now in a parish in the capital Dakar.

Frère Jean-Yves set things up nicely by saying to the Parish Priest that we would be going to his 9.30am Sunday Mass, but that a minibus would be meeting us at the church at 11am, whethe…

Senegal 2010 - Day 11 (Sat.)

A couple of details I'd forgotten from previous days: 
- we did indeed pick up our tailored shirts and trousers on Thurs. Each item (material + labour) cost roughly £4-5. I think we would have been prepared to pay much more given the quality of the tailoring and the material, but our priority was to leave as much of our funds as possible to the Brothers in Richard-Toll, so we just paid the price we were given. See below for a photo of some of the group in their new togs.
- also on Thurs.: we were invited back (thanks to Frère Jean-Yves' intervention) to the hardware store to watch Liverpool vs. Benfica in the Europa League (UEFA Cup). A few of our group, less keen on football, stayed back at the house. The spooky thing was that the match seemed to be following the exact same path as the Man. Utd. game the previous night (which had ended in tears for the Red Devils), i.e. Liverpool down on aggregate, race into a 3-0 lead, only for Benfica to pull a goal back and leave the Scouse …