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Janet Sebastian-Coleman

Janet is passionate about leading an intellectual, creative, service-based life. She loves art, history, language, stories, service work, and travel. She works for Native American rights, Women's rights, and equality for all people. Janet advocates for the use of art and education to create positive social change. Her goals for the year are to become a member of her community, to make lifelong friends, learn from a culture, languages, religions, and a way of life different than her own, and to be welcoming and open to every new experience that comes her way. She hopes also to have a positive and joyful impact on the community and family she will join. Janet hopes to return changed and inspired spiritually, creatively, and intellectually. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Naande Woo

April 19, 2016

This is my daily life.

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“Many Roads” Short Film

April 19, 2016

Here's a short film: https://vimeo.com/163405776 How many roads must a man walk down? How many roads did Saint Augustine travel? 42? I didn't keep count but I've seen a lot of roads this year (and probably many more emotional and spiritual ones than physical), I don't think I've been called a man nor become Saint...

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Meet the Family Video

March 8, 2016

March 7th: As I begin my final month of my homestay in Ibel, Senegal here’s a look at the people, my family, that have made this year all it is. Meet the Family from Janet Sebastian-Coleman on Vimeo.  

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To Everything

March 2, 2016

February 9th I’ve often lamented that I would not be in Senegal long enough to see another change in season. The start of the rainy season seems far more exciting than its end; I can picture the clouds rolling in, shadows falling across the brown grasses, my siblings suddenly jumping up and dancing, the first fat drop hitting my nose,...

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The Way of Life

March 2, 2016

January 28th   “Tell us about the American way of life,” the student asked, looking up from his notebook.   “The American Way of Life?” I repeated back, stalling for time. I stood before thirty students, eyes looking carefully, waiting for a simple response.   I sifted and stumbled through my own routine, my high school, my mother’s and...

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Lessons in Patience

March 2, 2016

January 19th 2016   Rama turned the page in my book, “Ca c’est cent trieze”.   I look at the small number in the page corner, “O’o”, I flip back to the previous page, “ca c’est cent quinze, so…” I turn back to our page “Ca c’est cent… apres cent quinze, honnu aray?”.   Rama pauses and studies the three...

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Rama – Love is in the Actions

January 31, 2016

January 29th   I kept pedaling. Speeding past the soccer players, I answered calls of, “Mrs. How are you?” and “Nali Jam!”. Today I was not going push the bike up that little hill right before the compound – today I was pedaling. Why did I always get off the bike once I was off road? I ducked under the...

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A Change in Seasons

January 10, 2016

Since the beginning of my homestay in Ibel the landscape around me has shifted and changed almost every week. In this video I sought to capture a brief glimpse the beauty of both the rainy season, dry season, and the transition between the two.  https://vimeo.com/151280174

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Senegal 2016 Fellows Video

January 9, 2016

A video of appreciation for my fellow fellows, it wouldn't be the same without them.  https://vimeo.com/151225163

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A Day in the Life

January 9, 2016

Mid-December:   My dream fades and I am aware I am laying down, tangled up in sheets and wrap skirts; the morning has arrived. A silver light frames my closed window and a soft breeze sneaks beneath my door and ripples the curtain. I adjust the sweatshirt that serves as my pillow and wonder at the time, could I close...

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Reading Hemingway on the Savannah

November 23, 2015

November 6th 2015   I look over the cover of A Moveable Feast as my sister Rama and her friend Sally Ba dance into the compound holding out bowls full of guavas. There’s a guava tree down the hill from the compound; when I go to the well to get water for my bath I can just see it,...

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Coming Home

November 23, 2015

November 18th 2015   I held on to the metal bar above my head and watched the deep orange earth fly by me; our driver was pushing this truck as hard as it would go, occasionally the exhaust would squirt out black but we moved on fast enough that I barely had time to register the foul smell. We...

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The First Glance

November 1, 2015

November 1st 2015: In this film I sought to show a glimpse of the sights and the daily life of my first month in Ibel, my community placement.  When I showed the film to my family they were extremely excited, they were clapping and screaming. The Senegalese love photos and I think the ability to...

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One Word and a Huge Success

October 31, 2015

October 28th 2015:   My four-year-old brother Moussa loves to quiz me in Pularr. His favorite after dinner entertainment is to point to various body parts and say honnu o innete? (What is this called?). He always starts with his personal favorite, tinde (forehead). So I’ve got that  word down pat.   I learned pretty early on if I’m feeling...

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Food Glorious Food

October 31, 2015

October 18th 2015:   The romance of travel often rests in the food: the scents, tastes, spices of another part of the world. In Ibel, I live constantly surrounded by food. The okra that will be in today’s lunch is less than ten feet from my soodu (hut/room). Right now my compound is full of corn, okra, and millet...

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Realizing Identities and Remembering My Art

October 31, 2015

October 16th 2015:   About a week ago, I pulled myself out of bed hoping to have a little time to myself before being totally surrounded by kids and food. When I pulled open my door I was greeted by a pale blue morning and a magically empty compound. My family had gone to buy bread. Amazingly, I was...

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Road to Ibel

September 29, 2015

 At five in the morning on September 19th Abby and I hustled through the dark streets of Dakar. We crossed the familiar highway, now void of the car rapides, taxis, horses, and buses that usually zip by as we make the trek to school and the office.   Abby and I reach the office early and sit on the stoop...

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Mud, mud, mud

September 12, 2015

Early Thursday morning the pouring rain began. Normally, I sleep straight through thunderstorms and torrential rain. But on Thursday, I drifted in and out of sleep, when I awoke I was not quite sure if I was awake: there was endless drumming of rain in reality but the sound of water also flooded my dreams.   My alarm brought me...

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The Vision

September 8, 2015

Since my decision to be a Global Citizen Year fellow, people have asked “What are you going to do?” quite a lot. I answered the question by laying out the program structure. But that answer isn’t personal, people asked “what are you going to do?” And I answered, “The program does this…” or “Fellows have worked on these type of projects”....

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Finding Reality

August 31, 2015

 Well, I’ve made it. I safely arrived in Senegal on Friday, although it seems I’ve been here much longer than that. Perhaps its the sun, or the importance of greeting each person you pass, or the streets made of sand, tiles, cement, and paving stones, but its easy to fall into the rhythm of Senegal....

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The Departure

August 26, 2015

My anticipation for travel has been building up for months, then suddenly the date and time of departure are staring me in the face, shouting “I'm here!”. And I stare blankly back. “You're here? You look like tomorrow, but are you real?” But it must be true for I have a schedule that says “2:30am...

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