Erin Lang

Starting at a young age, Erin participated in many activities and sports, but mainly spent her time in a studio as a ballet and modern dancer. She was fortunate enough to train mostly with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre's Student Company (G2), located in Carmel, Indiana. She also participated in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, and ballroom dancing with The Academy of Dance Arts and Ballet International. Erin studied abroad in France with IU Honors Program, where she discovered her love of languages and culture. She started an organization for French Immersion Classes in her home town, and was the head of the French tutoring program at her high school.


Dear Mr. Booker and Mr. Watt

A year ago, I was sitting in both of your classes, anxious to graduate, anxious to become something…dying to find a purpose and a fulfillment in my life that was never satisfied in my high school career.  I was never a student teachers could seem to understand, one minute I succeeded beautifully on an assignment…

15 April, 2011

I am a Lebu

I came to Senegal with the name Erin Elizabeth Lang.  In less than a month, I will be leaving with the name Kiné Mariama Ndoye.  Ndoye is a last name of the Lebu background, meaning that in history, the Ndoye family were fishermen.  Although my family in Sébikotane is not  made up of fishermen, they…

14 April, 2011

So you speak Saafi-Saafi?

I live in a Wolof neighborhood, and work at a school where the majority of the students are of Wolof origin, therefore speaking Wolof as their native tongue.  I had never visited any other elementary school in Sébi, except for the one on the same side of the national road as Sebi Route, that is…before…

05 April, 2011

My Child, My Refugee

“Yama!  Yama!  Would you hurry up? Your appointment was at nine! It’s nine fifteen!”  I shouted, annoyed and trying to make it to the dentist’s appointment that was already paid for.  I found Yama sitting outside of my door, going through my trashcan for old papers and pens. “Yama!  WHAT are you doing?  And where…

22 March, 2011

Not a Teacher in Site

Wednesday, 8:00 am My stomach flipped over in disbelief.  Every door in the school was shut and dead bolted, except for one… the classroom to the left of the library.  There were at least one hundred children gathered in the doorway and outside of the classroom.  I walked over to the class and discovered many…

19 March, 2011

Success Amongst Six

I am always renewed and inspired in the presence of these young girls.

18 March, 2011

The Last One to Believe

What I now see for the first time is the mechanism by which fear destroys intelligence, the way it affects a child’s whole way of thinking about, and dealing with life.  So we have two problems, not one: to stop children from being afraid, and then to break them of the bad habits into which…

18 March, 2011

Observations from a sand box

…Okay, so maybe not an ACTUAL sand box, it’s more like my personal pile of sand, situated right in front of a cement house that was never completely built.  None the less, this sand mound is the only place where you will not be able to discover the town’s Toubaab, for it is where I…

13 December, 2010

The silver lining of my inhibitions

I’m living in a world I never thought was real.  I’m surrounded by things that once were inhibitions in my life.  I’m passing people on the street every day that you hear about on the news.  I’m sitting on a crowded bus behind the boy having a seizure, next to the father holding rosary beads…

22 November, 2010

Beyond the beauty of the ordinary

My head was dripping with sweat from the dry heat that I couldn’t escape.  My stomach had knots; my limbs, restless yet fatigued from the wear and tear of the social and physical maladies my body could not overcome…I replayed the event in my head exactly as it happened, trying to figure out what had…

11 November, 2010

Through the Eyes of a Stranger

After returning from downtown Dakar with two other Fellows, I felt a bit overwhelmed by what I had seen. I looked at the clock. It was one thirty.  I had to get a project done for class at three.  Assuming that the project would take little time, I picked up my bag, my brown leather…

08 October, 2010

This One Goes to 5-3

To Room 5-3 and Mrs. Jackson (2009-2010) I want to let you in on a secret. Perfection is not possible.  Age is not always an accurate measure of potential or inner strength.  And sometimes, failure IS the only option in becoming stronger. For a year, I worked under Mrs. Jackson as your Student Teacher.  Although…

01 October, 2010

The Beginning of a New Adventure

I’m from Carmel, Indiana, a northern suburb about twenty minutes from the heart of Indianapolis.  Since I was a small girl, challenge was never something I was afraid of.  I had a playful and competitive spirit, and was always up for an adventure.  My unusual passion for language and literature followed with me everywhere I…

21 September, 2010

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Erin Lang