Building peace in the minds of men and women

A Senegalese village refuses to go to sleep

When we arrived at M'Boumba it was already dark, so we expected to see W nothing of the life of this Senegal village until the following morning. But it was not long before we heard some rhythmic, mechanical noises and saw an electric light come on at a street corner-probably the only one shining in the darkness of the brush country within a radius of 50 miles or more.

Then we heard the unmistakable sounds of a village coming to life, and we wondered whether we were going to be treated to some sort of group spectacle or entertainment-whether we should soon be hearing the beating of tom-toms and the chanting of ritual music in the night.

If so, this was hardly what the organizers of our trip had led us to expect. We had come to M'Boumba to see the work of an educational mission led by M. André Terrisse, head of the Education Service, Dakar, French West Africa. It came as a surprise then to learn that the noises we had heard in the night were the preparations for a class which the village was due to attend. 

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January 1953