This semester has been quite interesting as well as hectic for me as I have been doing 21 credit hours. Most of the units were mostly academic in nature and required a lot of concentration. My highlight of the semester however, has been French 124 class which is ‘Introduction to the Francophone world’. The moment I joined this class I had high hopes of taking the Monday afternoon as a relaxing session, as the semi-circle sitting position communicated a more discussion-oriented type of class, but little did I know that it would be a session of enlightenment.

From Left to Right: Shingai, Dr.Wandia, Myself, Elsie, Yasmin, Belinda and Caroline.

I had the opportunity of learning more on Nergritude and on poets such as Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor. To be honest I was not familiar with their work before joining this class but must I say I salute these great men for their contribution to the Nergritude philosophy. Hearing our lecturer speak on  Paris the ‘The City of Lights’ on how she would take long walks in the street of Paris made me more enthusiastic of visiting Paris soon. The most fascinating topic to me however, was that of Slavery and the Haitian revolution.  I knew Haiti for being one of the poorest countries in the world and for the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island nation. However, in this class I learned on the incredible history of Haiti in how they gained their independence as the first black republic. While researching on their music and culture I was intrigued with a famous mizik rasin ( rasin music) band called the ‘Boukman Eksperyans’ and their contribution to the Haitian politics through great songs such as “Ke’m Pa Sote”. This song was a protest against the living conditions under the post-Duvalier interim military government of General Prosper Avril you guys can listen to this song by clicking on this link; which also gives a glimpse of the Haitian traditional dance and instruments.

The cookouts were amazing as it felt like having a round of international restaurant hunting in Daystar University. Eating Haitian meals, French food and African delicacies was quite a treat indeed. It’s only in French 124 that one gets to eat a hearty meal at their lecturer’s place and get to watch an inspiring movie such as Julie & Julia. I learned more on Caribbean culture and had an opportunity to taste their food. Moreover, I also got to rediscover a Haitian song which I always thought to be a Seychellois song called ‘Zouk la se sel medikaman nou ni’ by Kassav band as I used to hear ‘sesel’ which is the creole word for Seychelles instead of ‘se sel’;

A fusion of Caribbean cuisine cooked by my classmates and I.

You guys can check out this fascinating blog  called ‘The Vegan Version’ by clicking on this link; of which the author is working her way through Julia Childs’ classic recipes and veganizing them, which is similar to Julie’s attempt of re-cooking Julia Child’s meals in the movie ‘Julie & Julia’.

Julie & Julia the movie

Every student in Daystar University should take up this class in the coming semesters as the insight one would gain from the class discussions is priceless. I found this really fun music video speaking on French-speaking countries of Africa you guys should check it out by clicking on this link; As an International Relations student, I truly commend Dr. Wandia for teaching this class in such a liberally minded manner and allowing the truth to be spoken so openly, as this is what is needed to transform and advance our beloved African societies.