Author Archives: Tracy Bach

Tooting My Vuvuzela

What else is a proud mama to do?  Our oldest son, Jordan, is now a month into his southern Africa summer adventure.  He finished his freshman year at the University of California at Berkeley in mid-May and a few days later, departed LAX for Johannesburg, SA.  Jordan has spent the past four weeks traveling in […]

Teaching 101: 1 x 1

One of the best parts of being a teacher is working with students individually. Classroom teaching is fun, of course.  I’ve enjoyed this year’s classes in human rights, comparative health law, and climate change.  Putting the syllabi and readings together, conducting class discussion (as I do my best to reorient the students from the system […]

Journée mondiale de l’environnement

While we in the United States tend to celebrate Earth Day in April and then call it a year, most of the rest of the world also celebrates World Environment Day (WED) or la Journée Mondiale de l’Environnement (JEM) on June 5.  Created by the United Nations in 1972, the year of the Stockholm conference: […]

Earning Sovereign Trust

Interesting op-ed in the NYT today (6/12/10) by Pomona College African politics professor Pierre Englebert, entitled “To Save Africa, Reject Its Nations.”  He (admittedly radically) advocates derecognizing African countries that perform poorly in delivering basic democratic norms to its people (defined as safety and “basic rights”).  On the ground this means that the United Nations […]

Ahhhhhhh Attaya

Attaya is the Senegalese tea drinking ritual. I’ve seen it labeled as a ceremony, but for me that formal-sounding word conjures up visions of tea-time in England and Japanese tea ceremonies. Instead, here you see attaya preparation and degustation everywhere:  on sidewalks, in gargottes or improvised street-side restos, in formal restaurants and homes, all day […]

What’s law got to do with it?

Yes, Tina Turner is crooning plaintively on the sound track in my head.  Nine months in, pushing myself to draw tentative conclusions from my research on how Senegalese law is adapting to international climate change law.  My first impression of law’s otherness in Senegalese culture keeps resurfacing.  In other words, what’s law got to do […]

Dak’Art 2010

Just when I thought it was safe to focus on that last month of work, the visual arts stepped in to complete the sensory sweep in culturally simmering Senegal these days. Dak’Art 2010 is the 9th Biennial Contemporary African Art show.  It opened on May 7 to great fanfare and daily events, and will close […]

Marching in to St. Louis Jazz

Senegal’s music scene expanded another notch with the 18th annual jazz festival in St. Louis this past weekend.  This  town up north, just a tad below the Mauritanian border and spread over an island in the mouth of the Senegal River, is a colonial gem (to some; others see it as remnants of the colonial […]

Simmering Senegal Goes Full Boil into the Wee Hours at Stade de l’Amitié

Thus far the famed music scene in Dakar has been on a low simmer for me.  The specter of carving out time to take a nap so that I can go out at midnight and return as the sun rises, then crash or pull an all-nighter at age 48, has proved to be a mirage […]

Traveling Companions

One of the gifts of travel is making new friends and then bumping into them again, physically or virtually.  So when I received an email last week saying that a Belgian friend from our year in Rwanda, Patrick Kelders, had just published a book about his humanitarian work in Africa, called Si peu d’humanité (So […]