By Flannery Pope

I’m missing the interaction that I found in Senegal. I have been looking for it since we returned but I haven’t found it yet. In Senegal, the art of tea making is a large factor in the communal feel of the country. In the U.S. tea making is just some bag of leaves in a cup of hot water. It’s just not the same. Tea drinking happened numerous times while we there. My favorite image of tea time was Schaef’s first attempt at making tea. It was an early morning, about 4 of us sitting around a circle. The tea was bitter and cold. There was a lot of laughter and advice being given to Schaef, as he tried to make his first round of tea.

We spent the majority of our time in the heart of a tight-knit community, and I’m already beginning to miss the friendliness and welcoming nature of the Ketuota’s family.  We stayed in his compound in the village for 5 days. While we were there we got immersed with the lifestyle of the villagers. We spent our days there helping the villagers with some of their basic everyday things. We spent a lot of our time there with the children of the village. I have never had anyone be as excited to see me as many of those kids were. Being in the village made so many of the things that people stress over back home feel so insignificant. No thoughts of using my cell phone or any other technology while I was there. I was content with living the lifestyle of the village, surrounded by other humans.

What really impacted me was seeing how much of a community the village is. Seeing how they interacted with each other gave me a lot of ideas of how I can implement aspects of the communities in Senegal into my community at Christchurch such as being friendly in general and greeting people without wanting something from them. Taking action in communicating with others in the community will allow our community to prosper and achieve a better understanding of each other.

3 responses to “The Power of Interactions”

  1. Cola Avatar

    Flan Dog, It is obvious that you will travel a lot more from this experience. Take your guitar, write songs, spread the message! What you said in your post is the essence.

  2. jbyersccs Avatar

    Ritual, symbols, traditions, and community unity mean everything. Flan, you have witnessed that in your travels. Keep it in your heart and in your life. Well done.

  3. Lisa Gordon Avatar
    Lisa Gordon

    Thanks for sharing your reflection Flannery. Powerful insights/learnings about as you said “taking action”, being purposeful in our communications and interactions with others!

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