The Dragon that Ate the Sun
And Other Tales from Lower Casamance
It is night in Lower Casamance, by the light of the bonfire, some words are heard: "I am going to tell a story." Those who listen respond: "We listen to you." And the tales of dragons that bring rain, of snakes that turn into human beings, of mermaids that hide in the swamps... begin.
With them, it is thought that whoever doesn't have scars is not human, that you are only to spend on what is necessary, and that work and caring for others always has a reward...
These are stories that have been heard in their language, selected among the over one hundred collected, edited and illustrated with images created by the same children who have told us the stories.
This is a complete book, where word and image go hand in hand and take us through the world of the imagination of Lower Casamance.
If you want to hear the stories in the language in which they were told, you can listen to them here.
"Why aren't the dog and the crocodile friends?" (p. 95 of our book). Collected in Boukout by Fina Hernández Gordillo, and told in diola quatay by the Diatta family.
Written by Ana C. Herreros
Illustrated by Daniel Tornero
Collection: Black series
Size: 29x22 cm
(32 stories and 44 illustrations)
(Price without VAT €23.99)
Projects in Senegal
10% of the price of the book The Dragon that Ate the Sun, and other stories from Lower Casamance will go to a women's literacy project in Lower Casamance.
We want women to be able to come to the library as well, which we are filling with books.
In this library, we have collected most of the stories and we have done workshops where the girls and boys have illustrated the book.
With the money we have raised from the sale of The Dragon that Ate the Sun, we have already begun to fulfil what the Casamance education inspector had asked us to do: support the network of teachers who teach Spanish in secondary education and high school. During the month of February, we travelled to Senegal to give seminars on Spanish literature. This has been our travel plan:
February 13: Seminar on Spanish literature in Louga, at the PRF (Pole Regional de Formation), organized by Monsieur Mbow and the RSF, Red Educativa Sin Fronteras, with teachers from the Louga region.
February 15: Presentation of the book in the Cervantes Classroom in Dakar: Table comprised of Ana C. Herreros, Bacary Diatta and Ignacio Garrido (Spanish Embassy in Dakar), with the presence of students from the Faculté des Sciences et Technologies de l'Education et de la Formation (FASTEF), future Spanish teachers from Senegal.
February 17: Presentation of the book at the Teba Diatta library in Oussouye.
February 18: Spanish literature seminar in Ziguinchor at the Djnabo high school, organized by Ousman Diop, with the teachers of the Spanish cell of the Ziguinchor region.
February 19: Presentation at the Djimbering Institute.
February 20: Seminar on Spanish literature with Spanish teachers, at the CEM Aline Sitoe Diatta, in Oussouye, organized by Benjamin Sambou.
Presentation of the book in Ziguinchor, at the Djnabo high school.
LITERACY COURSE WITH THE WOMEN OF LOWER CASAMANCE
After they came together and decided on which language they wanted to be literate in (they chose French, which is the language in which their children become literate), the literacy course started at the Oussouye library. We have hired a teacher from the area and eleven women have enrolled (so far). It's not a good time because they are harvesting rice, so we hope that as soon as the harvest is over, more women will sign up.
REPORT AND BEGINNING OF THE 2019/2020 YEAR
Last year the course ended with 16 women who regularly went to class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. They are divided into three different levels depending on their reading comprehension, grammatical mistakes and notions of calculation.
Level 1. Women who have never been to school and who hardly understand both reading and calculation.
Level 2. Women who have attended primary school. They know how to read and calculate but they express themselves with difficulty and make mistakes in the dictation.
Level 3. Women who have studied secondary education, seeking to improve their level of French.
This year the course begins at the beginning of November and during October the coordinator, Fina Hernández, and the teacher, Nyassi, have been contacting the women who were in the previous course who attended the lectures and trying to contact new students for this course, seeing the necessary resources and organizing everything so that it is ready when the women from Oussouye arrive.
We are currently collaborating with the reading club run by Fina Gordillo, one of our favourite "bad companies", at the Oussouye library. We bought the books that she proposes from the Reno bookstore, which is also collaborating with the project. The books are always from African authors and we send them to Fina through volunteers who travel to Senegal during the year.
If you want more information or you want to collaborate with any of the titles that have been requested, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and from there we will tell you how to do it.
Our trip to Senegal
In the summers of 2014 and 2015, Ana Cristina Herreros and Daniel Tornero travelled to Lower Casamance, in Oussouye, and to Djimbreing and Enampore to collect the stories that make up the book The Dragon that Ate the Sun and other stories from Lower Casamance and to carry out the illustration workshops from which the illustrations would later come out.
Many people helped them in this task, Idrissa, Diogo, Pepa, Rosa and Fina helped Ana Cristina to collect the stories in the language spoken in Lower Casamance, diola, but there are many diolas, there is banjal, kasa, quatay, or fuñi among many others, so we had to translate them with the help of Jean Bernard, our librarian, Benjamin, the director of the Hispanic club of Lower Casamance and Bintu, they have made it possible for the words he gave to have the sense to us.
But more people have made this adventure possible...
Fina Hernández, the soul and heart and, sometimes, the hands of this dream, who also now coordinates the solidarity projects that are carried out from the Oussouye library, Pepe Santofimia, friend and musician, Daniel Tornero, friend and illustrator, Francis Peraza who in 2015 he went to record a documentary about the library and the people who populate it and many more with whom we share this great project: Pierre, Sunita, Tita, Chati, Queti and Mariama...
Thanks to all of them, because a dream ends up being literature when many people dream it, and this is it... We hope it will also be your dream...