Wolof: "Def lo xam, wal lo xam nga tudd nello."

English (literal translation:) "Speak what you know, do what you know, sleep well."

Tony Vacca's poetic translation: "Be true to your word. Let your actions bring to light the things that you dream, and you will sleep well."


- written by Baaba Maal, translated from Wolof by Tony Vacca.


English: "Dive for it!" (a brand new ritual frisbee call)

The guys were on the beach playing frisbee. Laurence threw one that Tony had to make a flying leap to catch. He ended up flat in the sand. From then on, for every tough throw, all the Americans yelled, "dive for it!" The kids that were watching started to mimic the call. We think they thought it was an official part of the game. In no time, we were all playing together.


English: "Our goal is to get every child off the street."

Spoken by El Hadji Boubou Sene, our translator and the kindergarten teacher at La Mere, a French school in Dakar. They called his school "La Mere" because the mother always takes care of her children.

English: "They were uprooted from their land, like the roots of times."

"Only those who have dwelt between these walls have cherished the price of liberty."

"Memory is the unforgetful strength of peoples."

From the Gorée Island history brochure.

English: "Laughter is the song of the soul." -Mariama Ba

Nathan and Mariama were sitting on the wall, having a casual conversation in French and a smattering of English. Mariama started to giggle and when Nathan asked her why, she replied with the quote above.

Nancy: "Hello Honey," "Hi Sweetie," "Bye, bye."

So now on the streets of our quarter in Dakar, the people speak Wolof, French, English, and Nancy. Nancy's sweet spirit has reached so many people that they all want to imitate her. We walk down the street and the kids call to us, "Hi Sweetie"......

English: "I'm the Tama Doctor, not the TV Doctor."

Spoken by Massamba, when we turned on the TV for the first time on Sunday and it wouldn't cooperate.


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