Young Adults in Global Mission
Hello! My name is Hannah Carr, and I grew up attending West Linn Lutheran Church. In May of 2017 I graduated from Marist College (in Poughkeepsie, NY), with a degree in Political Science. My journey with Young Adults in Global Mission has been quite the whirlwind. I decided to apply to participate in Young Adults in Global Mission, after I received an email from my mom that Pastor Donna and PT (Pastor Tim) had told them about YAGM (***read in the “Hannah's Blog” section below for a detailed story). After a series of carefully thought out interviews, and personal reflection I have decided to participate in YAGM. This consists of a year of service in Senegal (exact location TBA). We are essentially placed somewhere assigned a fulltime job connected with a non-profit (jobs vary dramatically), and either live with a host family or with a fellow YAGM peer.
I love traveling, adventure, the city bustle as well as the peace of nature, learning from new cultures, hiking, running, hanging out with my dog, family and friends, baking and cooking, and putting myself in somewhat foreign situations. I am hopeful and anxious, in the most positive of combinations, about this next year in Senegal.
How to Donate
As part of the YAGM journey I have committed to raising $5,000.00 for the ELCA.
How to donate
BY CARD: Use the button link.
(1)-Write a check to West Linn Lutheran Church, indicating that the check is for Hannah Carr, YAGM.
(2)-Make your check payable to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Indicating that the check is for Hannah Carr, YAGM.
-Send your check to:
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
PO Box 1809
Merrifield, VA 22116-8009
-A gift acknowledgement and tax receipt will be mailed to you upon receiving the donation.
In the WLLC hallway outside the office therre is a bulletin board with an "Accompaniment Calendar". Write your name on the calendar if you would like to accompany me on a specific day.
You can do this with or without making a donation. If you donate, you can donate in honor of a day, week or however much you feel necessary. A day is technically worth around $47 USD, and a week is $329.00.
Hannah Update : October 2017
I have officially been with my host family for over a month, which means I have gone through several cultural adjustments and somewhat have my place figured out in my family. I live with Pastor Jean Noel
Faye, his wife Sesyl Faye, a niece Elisabeth, and
nephew Bakari/Babar and three siblings: Ren Dibour/Marie (7 years old), Marie Prosper and Marie Benedict(twins who are 3 years old). However, as families work here we have a revolving door of nieces, nephews, friends and family members staying with us. While
they can be crazy at times, my siblings and family, especially Sesyl, are the ones who keep me sane when I have no idea what is going on (which is usually the
case). They make sure I “eat big”, are patient with my terrible Serer, and make sure I rest (“day off”/“wondu”) in the insane heat. For more details, check out Hannah's full update at the bottom of this page.
Photos from October Update
Upon further investigation I was amazed at how unique this program was, concluded that it was Peace Corp for only one year and applied. I was accepted after a series of in depth interviews, and was thankfully accepted to attend the final round of in-person interviews. To familiarize oneself, the program most similar to YAGM is the Peace Corp. You apply, selecting whichever countries you would most like to be placed in and then they narrow it down and eventually choose your placement. In this placement you work for some non-profit type job or teach, and receive a monthly stipend. Once you get to the final round of interviews, they have already chosen the two countries that fit you and your resume best (after all it is a job).
The two countries chosen for me were Cambodia and Senegal, both country programs only a couple years old. To be honest, when assigned Senegal I had no idea of its exact location and assumed it was somewhere in that NW jumble of Africa that we only hear questionable stories about. I went into the two country coordinator interviews extremely unsure, confused but open, and was placed in Senegal. The decision process is extremely well thought out and takes a whole weekend of meeting with the YAGM for the leaders to decide where to place us.
The process is comfortable, warm and welcoming with a group of around 100 young adults uncertain of what we are doing in life. Young Adults in Global Mission is a program for 21 to 29 year olds, and I was surprised to find that the majority of peers were either graduating this past year like me, or a year out of college.
YAGM has been enlightening, refreshing and full of happenstance (even though this is written before I even am in Senegal). I instantly became friends with other YAGM interviewing, and became close with my fellow Senegal YAGM before we were even aware we were assigned the same country. I have made greater connections, signifying that the world really is small, with YAGM who are assigned to Senegal.
Even though I am headed to 92% Muslim country, exact location TBA, small chance of seeing all of my fellow YAGM more than 5 times throughout 12 months, unable to see my family, friends and dog throughout the year, I have some sense of comfort due to the flow of events, and importance of accompaniment provided by the ELCA. For some reason there is such a level of peace about this program that did not exist when heading across the country for college, or even when studying abroad.
Hannah Update : September 2017
Hannah Update : September 2017
After ten days in Chicago, of an intense social activism and justice leadership boot camp, I have found myself in Dakar, Senegal. Since in Senegal we have attended language lessons, cultural lessons and are slowly but surely being immersed in the culture. The people are friendly and hospitable.
We have visited the market to look at the different goods bought and sold. The fashion is impeccable;everyone has his or her own dresses and unique fabric combo(even though they follow a similar pattern). The concept of Teranga (a.k.a. hospitality) and the importance of welcoming guests is very present.
My two fellow YAGM's and I will be placed in the Fatick region of Senegal and are learning Serer, which is a language unique to that region. The rest of the YAGMs are learning Wolof. Tomorrow we are celebrating Tabaski, the Muslim Holiday which equates to our Thanksgiving/Christmas. The streets are full of bustling excitement and we are saying it feels like Christmas eve!
Hannah's January Update
A million different things have occurred since Newsletter 2. The holidays have passed and with that comes many many many celebrations. Traditionally, as I have been told by friends, colleagues and family December is when the celebrations occur. Before the consumerist holiday of Christmas developed, December was the time after the rainy season, after the harvest season, after they burned all the crops(and now also the garbage) and before you had to start the whole process over again. So with all that pent up energy comes a few weeks of dancing until 4/5am, eating lots, and family and friends reuniting. To read more of Hannah's update click on the"Hannah's January Update" to learn more!
What is accompaniment?
Accompaniment includes mutuality, inclusivity, vulnerability, empowerment, and sustainability.
By giving to support under my name for the ELCA YAGM program, you are accompanying my journey in Senegal.
I appreciate the significance of living in a foreign place like Senegal for a year, and understand that not all are able to participate in an experience like this. I ask that you accompany me in whatever way possible through this journey.
The majority of ways that you can accompany me will be through my blog.
But one way would be through reflecting on the book “God’s Bits of Wood” by Sembene Ousmane, which was assigned to me by the Senegal country coordinator.