Senegal 2010 - Day 9 (Thurs.)

One thing that has been very impressive about the members of our group is how well they managed to deal with situations that arose during our activities. Once we'd been at Richard-Toll a few days, Frère Jean-Yves whispered to me that the school + community house are situated in what is probably the roughest part of the town, with some "difficult" youngsters roaming the streets. Small groups of older lads (late teens probably) would sometimes turn up while we were working with the primary school children (some days as many as 100 of them by mid-morning), muscle in and try to take over an activity, throwing the youngsters out, or, as in one case, come in and start hitting one of them. On this latter occasion I happened to be there to deal with it, but on other occasions, once they were given a few clues as to what to do by us adults, our lads dealt with such situations themselves, as well as fights between pairs of youngsters who were with us. And they did so incredibly competently, all the more surprising given the limited knowledge of French most of them had before coming here. In actual fact, they have all made a real effort to learn useful French phrases and use them themselves, rather than always ask myself or Bro. Francis to say things for them. Only when they were really stuck would they do this: a real credit to them all.

Jacob dealing with a situation (our young blind friend on his left). Jacob is studying French A-Level back in Southampton and has really enjoyed using his French and learning more.

Alex starting off a match.

Bro. Francis, who is certainly used to giving orders... and having them obeyed!! :-)

Rolo + a game of American Football catch.

Paddy + frisbee catch.

This little cheeky rascal was a real livewire... and the lad with the plaster was too! Rascal No. 1 (Jack in the background) manfully fending off his fan club as he gives out strings for making friendship bracelets.

These girls were a delight the whole week.

Jack's fan club really didn't give him any peace!

Charlie's fan club was a bit smaller... only kidding! 

Frère Paul in his office: the Thinker.

The ever-popular giant volleyball.

Rascal No. 2 (Plaster Rascal) having fallen and banged his head needed attention 
from Nurses Sophie + Simon. 

Tennis racket baseball.

Waiting for lunch at the most decorative of our eating venues... yes, fish + rice again guys!

Post-match photo of the victorious Team Win Saints after their extra-time triumph 2-1 against a local neighbourhood club team. 

Both sides took the match VERY seriously and some, especially Alex, fell victim of "professional" tactics. To his credit, he brought himself off in the 2nd half fearing that he was on the point of losing his temper (the sub was our young friend "Pepe"). He was able to come back in during extra-time. 

There were sterling performances all round. But I have to single out Simon (the other "Pepe Reina") for some outstanding saves and especially Mason, who, though not the most keen footballer in the group, laid himself on the line in the service of the Team, making some vital tackles at the back, none more so than the one in extra-time when he somehow managed to get back between the goal 2 yards behind him and their attaker who was about to score the simplest of goals after having rounded Simon. We all thought it was a certain goal. But Mason saved the day!  

Supper back at base.

Paddy, a devoted Everton (the Blues) fan, assured me that this was the ONLY time he would EVER wear red... so I had to take a photo. He then asked me, "Can I burn this top now?"

The adult-sized tops we wore, which had been donated by pupils in Southampton and their families, were given out to the local adults who had helped us. Frère Jean-Yves was given the bags full of children's ones for him to distribute to those pupils of his who had participated in our week of activities.
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