Paulina Personius

Paulina is passionate about human rights and environmental sustainability and hopes to study international development in college. She is a member of the training staff for a non-profit called Amigos de las Americas and also traveled with them to Mexico, where she helped organize a community-based initiative to build eco-friendly stoves. A dedicated dancer, Paulina has performed with a folk dance group for the past three years, and also takes ballet classes.



I hear the sharp sound of the drum starting to lay down the beat of the song at the weekly dance called a “tur” that is held in my town for girls my age. Ran-tan-tan, ran-tan, ran-tan. Soon more drums join in and the beat…

02 April, 2012


For the past two months that I have been in Senegal I have been trying to learn and see as much as I can: from studying Wolof and French every day, to cramming in visits to all the markets and beaches of Dakar.  As many…

02 November, 2011

You’re Single, Why?

During my week spent in my village I was asked too many times to count, “Are you married?” And when I responded “deedeet”, or no in Wolof, that first question was immediately followed up with “Why not?” I find that I am still working on an…

02 November, 2011

A New Perspective on Islam

In the US talk of Islam and Muslims in general often comes alongside talk of war and violence. At home the news talks about Muslims as terrorists and makes it seem as if the majority of them are extreme jihadists. Here in Senegal I have…

03 October, 2011

Summary: Excitement

I believe I first became interested in international development in the third grade when I accompanied my mother on a trip to volunteer in a school in Nicaragua. Although I did not yet understand or have the words for the concept of international development at…

05 July, 2011

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Paulina Personius