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Kaya Hartley

Kaya lives in Utah and spends her time creating art, enjoying nature, and cooking. After opportunities to spend time in India and Europe, she has realized a passion for the excitement of travel and the challenge of cultural immersion. She served as the Vice President in her student government, organized her own non-profit organization branching off of Invisible Children, and regularly volunteers at local soup kitchens and museums.


Too early for nostalgia

May 2, 2012

Last night I sat on my roof watching the clouds pass in front of the full moon, listening to the melodic chants come from the school across the street, and thinking about the short two days I have left of this experience that has become my life. I remember what my Team Leader, Oumou, had...

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Bare feet and labels

March 28, 2012

During my stay in Senegal I have been asked countless times who I am. To my Dakar host family, I am Haby Ndiaye. To the stranger on the street, I am toubab. The vendors call out ‘my sister!’ or ‘my friend!’ To my Potou host family I am Fatou Seye, to my host mother- my...

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Bucket Hands

March 14, 2012

If you’re not familiar with the game ‘would you rather’ here’s an explanation. A group of people basically go back and forth asking each other which scenario the other would prefer to be in. ‘ Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?’ ‘ Would you rather eat the same thing or something...

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Blinded by the trash

March 6, 2012

I still remember my first impression of my village. When I looked at Potou through the rolled down window as we were driving through my senses were overcome. All I could smell was burning trash, rotting trash, and fish. All I saw were dirty animals cluttering the trash filled streets, barefoot children running around, fly...

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Adventure Time

January 4, 2012

A fellow and friend, Awa (Megan) introduced me to the phrase ‘Adventure Time.’ Adventure time was started in Dakar, when we would go downtown, meet new people, and see where the day took us- usually ending with a good, crazy, interesting story to tell.  The key to having an excellent adventure time is to be...

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Powdered milk can’t save the world

December 16, 2011

Bilat is my three year old cousin. We’ve recently adopted him and his 5 year old sister into our family because his mother is mentally ill and left him to his father, who chose not to raise his two kids. The kids here play rough, and quite often fight rough. Bilat, being the youngest, is...

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Adaptation and fish guts

November 9, 2011

  I’ve recently been reading a book called The Minder Brain; it discusses the functions of the human brain and the ability we have to adapt. Adaptation. What an interesting concept. I have also been considering the connection between adaptation and fear. Most of us can make a fair sized list of things we are...

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The Easiest Language in the World

October 6, 2011

I’ve been postponing blogging because it seems that every day I gain something new, and my understanding of Senegalese life changes and grows. I have officially been living in Senegal for over a month now, and the most apparent observation so far is the overall relaxed, friendly, open attitude of the Senegalese people. The greetings...

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The Wild Thornberrys

July 8, 2011

Hello, Kaya Hartley here. For starters, I believe I was 5 or 6 when I first decided I would travel the world. It all started with the TV show ‘The Wild Thornberrys.’ For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to watch it, It’s a cartoon about a family who goes on crazy explorations...

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