Victoria Tran-Trinh

Whether excelling at martial arts, volunteering at Greater Boston Foodbank, or leading the Connecting with Elders Club, Victoria dedicates her energies toward inspiring, challenging and engaging herself and others. She spent her summers mentoring physically and mentally disabled children with the Jason Roberts Challenger League baseball team. During a class trip to Eastern Europe, Victoria underwent an emotionally transformative experience learning about and seeing firsthand the effects of the Holocaust.

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An Incredibly Long and Very Earnest Critique

With my time left in Senegal ticking steadily away, I’ve been constantly contemplating everything I’ve learned here, trying to organize it in my brain. It never ceases to amaze me just how much these past six months have taught me about Senegalese culture and life….

04 April, 2010

pickin’ up good vibrations

Since I basically live on the edge of Sebikotane, opposite from Gaya, Hilary, and the places where our activities are, I walk about two or three miles every day to get around. I could take a ndiaga-ndiaye for about 15 cents, as my Senegalese family…

18 February, 2010

Don’t think twice, it’s alright

Friday the 15th marked the halfway point of our stay in Senegal. I’ve been keeping close track of the days, and feeling the halfway mark looming upon me was, frankly, kind of depressing.  A month ago, I had written a proposal detailing all the activities…

19 January, 2010

American Holidays in Africa, or How Victoria’s Heart Thawed

For our first monthly meeting in Dakar, the Fellows celebrated a late Thanksgiving at Rachel’s house. I was averse to having a “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner, but tried not to dampen everyone else’s holiday spirits. It just struck me as rather America-centric to feel the need…

28 December, 2009

a domesticated girl, that’s all you ask of me

Before I left Boston, my mother warned me not to argue with people if I disagreed with their cultural beliefs. It’s better to bite my tongue, she said, to avoid creating problems for myself. Before in-country arrival, GCY gave us instructions to steer clear of…

06 December, 2009

and so it begins!

My apprenticeship is with the PDEF – an organization (funded by the international NGO ChildFund) that runs many things in the community, including a preschool which I am supposed to “help,” or really just study. After a week of sitting in the secretary’s office with…

23 November, 2009

can’t keep from changing, my brain’s bending

As a female here in Senegal, I am often asked if I know how to cook. This is just one of several questions that are posed to me on a daily basis which require in my answer “Aux Etats-Unis, je suis vegetarienne.” People are quick…

07 November, 2009

my heart’s aflame, my body’s strained (but God, I like it)

Yesterday was the day of days – the Senegal fellows’ move to their rural homestays. Saying my goodbyes to my host family was much sadder than I thought it would be, and I really hope I can visit them when my language skills have increased….

02 November, 2009

I sweat salt and the Earth sweats heat

There are few times in my life when I can honestly say that I was drenched in sweat. Today was one of those times. Not once before today have I been drenched in sweat without some kind of physical exertion behind it, be it a…

24 October, 2009

note the trees, because the dirt is temporary

Now that we’ve been in-country for three weeks, I find myself settling into more of a routine. This is a very good thing in some ways, but I’ve realized that it has its negatives as well. The upside is obviously that I am becoming more…

21 October, 2009

baobabs & baobabs some more – you can’t outwait fate (w/ photos!)

As I am writing this, it’s raining for the first time since I left Boston a month ago. Inside my house. The way the house is structured, the staircases leading from floor to floor are essentially outside. There is no roof above them, so it…

18 October, 2009

some days, they last longer than others

Semi-lengthy update! This is a picture of my host cousins playing the kora for me. They played a mixture of traditional and love songs. Haha. I got offered many things, from new Senegalese husbands to drags off communal cigarettes. (All of which I refused, politely,…

14 October, 2009

dancing barefoot, heading for a spin

So.. my plans to write more frequent blogposts didn’t come to fruition. Obviously. I had every intention to update my blog, but the U.S. Training Institute was such a constant whirlwind of activity. Any and all free time that we Fellows had was devoted to…

05 October, 2009

Training: Day 1

This is going to be a stub of an entry because I am flat-out exhausted. I just want to let everyone know that I’ve arrived at the training institution at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and it is beautiful! The scenery and the landscape are…

21 September, 2009

with question marks in my eye

As the only fellow who has yet to write a blog post, I’m forcing myself to write today – only three days before our Global Citizen Years officially start – out of guilt and a little bit of embarrassment.

18 September, 2009

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Victoria Tran-Trinh