From: Florida and NY
To: Palmarin, Senegal
Dates: December 18, 2010 – January 3, 2011
About the project: The project is still currently in progress, as things didn’t go exactly as planned – but here’s the scoop! I brought with me all the tape and connectors – then purchased the tubing in Dakar. Unfortunately the connectors were not right at all! So we searched and searched through maybe 15 hardware stores – no one carries them! We even tried a rigging system with rubber tubes and rebar… it didn’t go well . Anyway – the hoops were cut to size and brought to Palmarin with the tape. I cut a tiny piece of the piping and brought it back with me to the states and brought it around to different hardware stores until I found couplings that fit! So now I have the couplings and am shipping them to Senegal!
My friend Chris is in the Peace Corps there and will be my partner in finishing the project! He is who I traveled with while I was there – and he is super excited to bring hoops to the kids of the village where he spent two years!! While there I saw that the kids have so little to play with – they play games in the sand sometimes but mostly push around old tires with sticks. Though I was exceptionally disappointed while there, Chris has promised to get kids hooping this month! I tagged you in the photos of us buying piping on Facebook, and I made Chris promise to document the whole process of taping and playing with them! So the timeline is exactly what we wanted… but I guess it takes a village, right? It was a joint effort between me bringing the materials and my friend Chris Murphy (Peace Corps Volunteer) to get the kids of Palmarin hooping! And now some other PCVs are interested in doing it in their sites too!!
From Chris, ”Here are the photos of hula hooping in the village. It was a great time. At first everyone struggled with the concept a little bit so we came up with some alternative uses for a hula hoop but by the second day everyone ran up to me to show me how they had become Hoop masters over night.
Also, after using all the tubing we bought we had sixteen connectors and a ton of tape left over. I put it out to the Peace Corps community and lots of people were interested so I divided up the gear to four groups so you should have more photos of different sites eventually.”