It was five days of peace, love, and collaboration.  The 2017 iEARN International Conference in Marrakech, Morocco delivered a constant flow of beautifully touching and joyful moments.

One deeply moving experience for me was meeting my friend Seydy for the first time.  Seydy is a teacher at Les Martyrs College in Pikine, Senegal. Our students have been collaborating through the iEARN “Finding Solutions to Hunger, Poverty, and Inequality” project.

Each day, Seydy and I spent much time together while attending workshops and enjoying meals.  We shared many moments discussing our projects, families, communities, schools, and students.

During our time together, I couldn’t help but take consistent notice of the beautiful clothing he wore each day. Seydy’s dress was fascinating to me.  I must have commented consistently regarding his striking and magnificent appearance while wearing the traditional Senegalese dress. The grand and complete boubou is a three piece outfit, complete with a tunic, trousers, and boubou.

One afternoon, Seydy approached and gifted me with the rich, white boubou suit he had worn the day before. Tears of deep happiness swelled up from the heart to my eyes. I could not wait for the opportunity to try on the exquisite apparel.

Prior to the conference, I was grateful to be connected to Seydy as a fellow project facilitator. Today, I am blessed to call Seydy my brother.


Allen Witten is a Social Sciences and Global Education teacher at Sunburst Youth Academy in Los Alamitos, California. Allen received a scholarship from the Stevens Initiative to attend the 2017 iEARN International Conference in Morocco.