Sunday, June 21, 2015

Senegal 2015

June 21, 2015
Another life changing evening in Senegal
Father’s Day in Dakar, Senegal
After resting the afternoon on June 21st in Dakar, Senegal after 16 some hours traveling (this was a short trip, as most of our trips take around 40 hours), I decided to go for a walk around the area of the hotel. I emptied out all of my pockets except for my phone and some money.
Up the street to see what was up there.  Pretty run down, lots of people walking around so that is a good sign.   I crossed over the street and followed a lady carrying a bucket on her head, a bucket in her hand and baby strapped to her back. 
Down the street, back toward the ocean.  A few pharmacies, no grocery stores, lots of metal gates like in Tajikistan.  Crossed over to the other side of the main street and started to head back toward the Amdre Hotel. 
The street before the hotel, there was a group of people in the middle of road and 50-60 small kids, 6-15 years old; very dirty, no shoes, and clothes in a tater.  Reminder, the world is a harsh place to live.  How quickly we forget the real world, the real hunger, the real need for help around the world. 
I stopped and just observed. A group of people were handing out bread and tea to the small children, AND the taxi drivers, AND anyone who was in need of a drink and bread. They offered the gift to anyone who would stop.  This went on for at least 45 minutes.  The kids looked like they had not eaten in a long time; this was a real act of kindness happening right before me.  There were four adults who seemed to be making sure as many people could get the bread and tea as possible.
Everyone got a piece of bread and cup of tea.  I asked one of the adults if they spoke English and they did.  I asked for the leader, who was one of the adults wearing white.  This group gives out bread and tea to the homeless, the young and older kids, the taxi drivers and anyone in need.  I told them that I was working with growers up north to help them grow more food for their families.  That brought on a lot of positive fist crunching and high fives by all of the adults in the group.
It was the young kids that were the heart puller, so frail, munching down the bread and tea as if it was their last meal.  It was heart tearing to see the condition of the kids.  The ”bread” group said they are also a humanitarian group, as I.  They are working with the poor people in Dakar and I am working with the poor farmers of St. Louis.  Kindred souls.
My heart is full tonight.  My wallet is less full.  They got 10,000 CFA, but don’t get too worried, that is only $20USD. 
We are so spoiled and so blessed to live in America.  This is one reason I go to these different countries.  1 – to help them grow more food for their families;  2- to observe and be reminded that we, in America are so blessed;  and 3- we need to NOT forget the poor, the needy, and the rest of the world.  My mantra – helping one family at a time, one pruner at a time; one loaf of bread and one donation at a time. 

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