Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Practice Makes Permanent - The Key to Success

You've heard the motto  "Practice make Perfect" but in our household it was changed to "Practice Makes Permanent" - so says Parker Sutton.  A phrase that I actually kind of like.  Perfection can be over rated at times.  If I use this springboard phrase of his I can with great delight show you the strides that Benedicta, Emma, Gisele, Lucie, Marianne and Marie made over the course of a few months. Their enthusiasm is infectious. So - If You Are Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands !!

Class dismissed !

On June 1st  all the young woman at the Foyer put together a farewell, thank you luncheon for all the volunteers who had spent this last year taking the time teaching them child care, French, cooking, embroidery, mathematics and yes - even English ;+}

Singing Songs of  "Thanks"
It was a lovely affair as the young woman showed off their talented food preparation, cooking and serving skills as though they were ready to start a new job in the hotel, restaurant industry or even a bonne/nanny for a future family.

Lucie - on of our girls
and Marianne

After enjoying the buffet and dessert we were each presented with beautifully embroidered apron that will forever remind us of the young women of Le Foyer. Maybe some of their cooking finesse will rub off on me!!  And of course you can't leave the room until you getup and dance along with them. 

After the excitement of the event wound down and most of the volunteers slipped away - it was Dorothy's and my turn to take a moment to recognize our 6 young woman and their achievements.  We wanted to present our token of appreciation to the girls for working hard (yet having fun) with us as we lead them down a path of English learning.

Dorothy designs and creates jewelry - I had this idea of something simple and unique to give them to remember us by and somehow involving a key.  The "key" being a symbol of opening the door to ones imagination and all the possibilities on the other side.
Photo: My friend, Hilary, and I volunteer and teach English to six amazing young Senegalese women at la Pouponnière,, here in Dakar.
Tomorrow is our last class.  The volunteers will be given a farewell luncheon and Hilary and I will present our token of appreciation to the girls for putting up with us and working hard to conquer the English language.
If all goes as planned the girls will sing “We Are The World”, by Michael Jackson, for the entire audience…in English…let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Hilary had this great idea of making something for the girls and since I make jewelry I said I would put something unique together.  Hilary felt that a “key” is a symbol of opening the door to ones imagination and all the possibilities on the other side. Hilary’s words of wisdom to the girls is: “You must open and enter with courage and confidence.” 
My words of wisdom to the girls will be: “Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll eventually get there.”
So with uncut keys, some leather, and some old and new African beads I made them each a little treasure to remember there English classes with Hilary and Dorothy.

Dorthy using her own creative juices combining leather cording, uncut keys and old and new African beads (which she has gazillions of that are oh so mouth watering) came up with 7 unique designs. One for each girl and for Sister Charito.

In attempting to hold my emotions in check - but yes a tear or two was shed, we presented each one with a certificate of achievement and their keepsake "collier"


Included in the bag - was not only their individual key but also a CD of various American music as well as every song we taught and learned to sing in class.

Our words of wisdom to these young woman 
  •  “You must open and enter with courage and confidence.”  (Hilary)
  •   “Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll eventually get there.” (Dorothy)
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”
― Flavia 

Sister Charito - Thank you for the courage and confidence you had in me to step up to the task.  And for your kindness that shines so brightly.

Benedicta, Emma, Marie, Gisele, Lucie,  and Marianne - Jerejef, Merci and Thank You for touching my heart in ways I could have never imagined. You welcomed me with your "teranga" and made the journey of teaching a memorable one. I was always full of energy and exhaustion when I returned home on Friday's. But I always slept well.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Le Foyer - Teaching English One Week at a Time

Back in December I posted the start of my story regarding Le Foyer and La Pouponniere (click here) -  the orphanage and the school that takes on young Senegalese woman - with a dormitory style building and classrooms that allows up to 50 young girls, 18-25 years of age to live during the week. They get trained for 2 years there - to learn child care, household chores, cooking, sewing and French (some arrive with only their native African language) with just a pinch of English in the schedule. These young woman make up the base of support for the care of the babies along with many many many other volunteers.  The goal being they will work in a hotel, restaurant or as a nanny/house keeper when they have 'graduated' ;+}. In this case there was a 3rd year group of 6 woman.

To bring you up to speed from that time - I spent the first two Friday's in December with Carine assessing the abilities of the girls to speak or read English or even have a comprehension of vocabulary words. And Carine's additional role was to help assess me with my ability to speak French and English sufficiently since I was going to take this on alone.  Prior to our meeting them I scoured the web for ideas, English lessons, conversation dialogues until my head was spinning. Here I am thinking people get trained in this specialty of ESL. There is so much out there on the net which is wonderful and yet when you really don't know what you should be looking for it's even harder. So you end up looking at everything. And the worst is the combinations and permutations of the search words you use to get to where you think you are going. I failed to track how much time I spent searching, clicking, reading, back buttoning and such that I finally came across a website that provided us with some simple progressive dialogues starting with this - Hello, What is your name? My name is _____?,  Where are you from?, I'm from __________? How old are you? I'm ______ years old.  You'd think I could have just done this myself but no no - it's like the bear who climbed over the mountain to see what he could see. 

After conducting two of our sessions - We concluded the following - 
  • I had a command of French fluency which would be just fine to teach and communicate in both French and English to the girls in order to move along with the lessons. Clearly I surprised myself.  And of course receiving Carine's  'blessing' that my language skills were "très bien" that I could do it without her help.
  • Friday's from 3 - 6 with even a 20 minute break was too long for one person all the time so I should still consider finding someone else to help keep the energy going. 2 people 'team teaching' is a nice dynamic for everyone. So another note off to DWG seeking a new 'teaching colleague'
  • Their command of English was way more elementary than anticipated,  although I'm not exactly sure I knew what to anticipate actually.
  • It was evident to that the free internet material was still going to be a challenge without photos or pictures to promote more of the context and vocabulary
With this perspective in mind I took a trip to the Quatre-Vents book store on our street and met Paul. Paul who speaks both French and English was a sales person "extraordinaire".  And in our experiences here many shop owners and vendors could use just a bit of polishing. Paul could seriously teach his country men and woman a few pointers. He works on the first floor in 2 very specific sections - one being where the bookstore sells all the primary and secondary books on every subject. He's used to the kids bringing in their long list of books for their parents to buy for school every year. We talked about the age of the girls I would be teaching being between 21 - 23 yet their maturity came across much younger and their grasp of English even more elementary - with slightly varying degrees. When we talked about the first 2 sessions and the introductory dialogues we attempted to use - he found an appropriate lesson book and workbook  for me to continue on at a pace that seemed right for them to grasp. And a base with which I could still make up more activities to go along with it.


While this is not the same book - here is an example of the level of dialogue pictures, vocabulary and simple grammar presented (I no longer have the books in hand we used as I gave them to Sister Charito to offer up to the next "English Teachers").  However, I might add that the characters in our book appeared more African and Senegalese along with Senegalese names!

So meet our class of the most lovely, energetic and enthusiastic young women.
Back Row (L-R) - Marianne, Emma, Lucie   Front Row (L-R) Benedicta, Gisele, Marie

I think for about a month I taught by myself  - I would basically make copies of the dialogues, we'd read through them and I would pair the girls up to read them together. There was a fair amount of repetition but it appeared just grasping how to say a particular word in English was necessary.  As we moved through the month and the vocabulary picked up we were able to play Hangman, I Spy and Simon Says.  And of course a little bit of homework was given!

Then one day I received an e-mail from, Rumky,  another member of DWG who was interested in teaming up. I was so happy because it just made for a better dynamic in the classroom and if  I would need to miss a Friday when we were on vacation I wanted to always be sure there was a backup and class would not be cancelled. With only meeting one day a week  keeping the Friday consistent was important. Rumky is from Bangladesh but her English was perfect and her level of French was right on track with mine. I was happy to have her as a partner and she just eased right into the use of the book and dialogues we had available. We incorporated more songs - The Rainbow Song (for colors), Head Shoulders Knees and Toes (body parts), The Hokey Pokey (learning right and left and body parts), If You're Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hand and Jingle Bells (just because) along with fun and funny poems for reinforcement.  

As time went on each week - we could see the confidence building and incremental improvements with reading and comprehending the dialogues. Usually the first time she or I would read it in English and then explain the equivalent context in French. Then we would ask them what words in the dialogue they did not know in English.  When they did not know it we could tell them in French and then heads would nod that they understood - YES!  I have to say I did not come up with this approach on my own - my French teacher at CCF did it to us in class so I said - hmmm - that makes sense  and not re-invent the wheel - we'll do it the same way but in English. The difference however is our French teacher would explain the meaning of the French word we did not understand with other French words. In this case we would just actually tell  the equivalent word in French because of their limited vocabulary.

Many times we would ask ourselves - are they really learning English or at least memorizing it - at times we had to believe they were. Things were clicking but it was at a very slow pace. We also had to tell ourselves we were doing the best we can and it's more than if we were not here on Fridays!  If anything we could see their confidence and comfort with small words and phrases slowly blooming. It was evident this would not be a conversational class and the only conversations they would break into with each other was in Wolof. It was actually rather funny when it happened and I would be saying - "Girls - English- English ;+}". One important attribute that came shinning through was the leadership of 2 girls who had a better command start helping the others. It was very touching. Yet I also knew we could only advance so far meeting only once a week and knowing - no one else was going to speak English the entire week to them until we returned.  In the beginning they would always welcome us with "bonjour" and I would reply back with "hello - this is English class" and not long they comfortably began saying "hello, how are you?". 


This little munchkin I think had a bit more freedom to roam the halls than many of the other babies who were in the other building. She would come into our class sometimes. It's a comfort to see how healthy and strong she was after her time here and at some point - I'm not sure which - will either return to her family or be adopted.

The Hokey Pokey

Yes, sometimes we would veer from the intended lesson plan but work our way back on track again.

Then an unanticipated day came where Rumky had to return to Bangladesh. Time again for me to reach out to our DWG members for another mate for the final two months. I had it in my mind it should be someone who could speak French and English but more importantly the person had to have the available free time.  Think Think - AHA - Dorothy - a member of DWG who arrived around the same time I did - also here on a self imposed sabbatical - representing the southern half of California.  She did not speak French but since she was as Southwest Airlines put it "free to move about the country" this was a great opportunity to do some volunteer work.  Her kids are grown and on their own and she was happy to take on the challenge especially on the set Friday's I knew for sure I would be out.

And below - Dorothy is showing them the words and music to "We Are the World".  A song they really wanted to learn. Interestingly enough however  they associated it  with the Haiti Earthquake Relief as it was redone with Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus and Pink to name a few in 2010. Who are these people anyway? Dorothy and I turn our clocks back 27 years because we were raised on the original version recorded for USA for Africa when these girls were not even born. In the end - it's all about Michael Jackson (who then was just 25)! But let's not forget - Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen (yeah baby he looked good) and Stevie Wonder to name a few in that video. To stay on track with 'our lessons' - we always did this as the last item of class.

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

 BON COURAGE - Emma, Benedicta, Marie, Gisele, Lucie and Marianne


And in case you want to reminisce.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Taxi Sister

We're walking in the hood and I spot a woman in the driver side of a taxi as it was parked.  I swear I had to do a double take.  She was the first and only woman taxi driver I had ever seen since coming here.  I stopped and asked was 'this for real'. And she explained to me she was one of 15 "Taxi Sisters" in Dakar as of 2012.  A program sponsored by the former president Abdoulaye Wade in 2010 that started with 10 cars. The goal is to get to 2,000 by 2015. While the goal may be a bit lofty given they've only gone from 10 to 15 in two years - it's still a step in new direction for the city and country. 

As you can see this "Taxi Sister"  provided me with a proud and grand "sourire".  Read on below about these female drivers.

Senegal's Taxi Sisters break new ground

Dakar's female taxi drivers shatter taboos and open up transport field for women.

One of Senegal's Taxi sisters, Amy Ndiane, 30, shouts out to a fellow taxi driver. The female taxi drivers are breaking new ground in the capital city of Dakar.
DAKAR, Senegal — Much more is riding in the backseat of Amy Ndiane’s chic neon yellow cab than the occasional passenger.
A Muslim woman, 30, who supports two kids from the fares she negotiates, Ndiane is an official, supported-by-the-president “Taxi Sister” — one of the select few female cabbies in Senegal.
“I heard there is a woman in the United States who drives a taxi,” mused Ndiane, a former data entry typist. “For Africa, this is a first, for a woman to have a taxi.”
Her novelty can be measured in the exclamations of well-wishers cheering her on from the crowded sidelines of Dakar’s chaotic rush hour.
“Taxi Sister!” hollered a young man trudging up an unforgiving hill pushing a cart of juice for sale.
A laughing male taxi driver waved hello as he and Ndiane orbited a traffic circle together.
The rest of her fans are women — or girls like the teenager in school clothes who heave both hands into the air and cry out “Taxi Sister!” as Ndiane zips by.
“They all want to be taxi drivers,” she said, then chuckled.
She isn’t joking. Three years ago, when Senegal’s government launched its all-women taxi fleet, it targeted modest numbers: Following a request by President Abdoulaye Wade, the state leased 10 hatchbacks on a rent-to-buy basis for women who wished to drive a cab.
Taxi Sister, the thinking went, would be a microfinance trial run for a government that is all but arm wrestling bank chiefs into lending to Senegal’s un-banked masses. In addition it would be a nifty gesture towards female empowerment.
Hundreds of women applied — a testament to the deep reserve of female talent in this country where the job market can hardly accommodate its men, let alone the other half.
Senegal is an overwhelmingly Muslim country and the Taxi Sisters wear head scarves. They have not been confronted with significant religious objections to their work.
Now, the government wants to roll out 2,000 Taxi Sister taxis by 2015 — an influx of peppy four-door coupes that delights gender rights activists pushing to reform this somewhat conservative Muslim society.
Dakar’s 15,000 taxi brothers are decidedly less than tickled.
“We have too many taxis and not enough clients,” lamented Moussa Iss, who has witnessed the cab lines overfill since he first picked up the keys in 1954 — and who, at 4 p.m. on a Thursday — hadn’t found his day’s first customer. The Taxi Sister parked nearby had managed just one, a $2 lift across town.
Neither had begun to earn their daily car payments — $12 for her, $20 for him
Iss, 85, doesn’t fault the Taxi Sisters — “they are in the same bind as us,” he said — but the math is clear.
“This work is becoming so bad,” he sighed.
And yet the wheels roll on. However poorly the country’s cabbies may fare, the taxi sister’s struggle for their share of the yellow cars is seen by many as symbolic for a wider fight for women’s jobs and rights.
The Taxi Sister drivers are trained in driving and mechanics and they have taken self defense courses, too.
Not to mention, a few more women on the road might be a good thing to moderate Dakar’s aggressive driving culture.
“In the traffic, women don’t go for speed, they think more about safety,” said Maiga Ndeye, secretary for Femme Auto, Dakar’s women-manned car repairshop, and the only woman on-site whose hands weren’t manicured in grease splotches.
“Women are getting to be everywhere now,” she said. “We’re working as auto mechanics, as bus drivers, and now taxi drivers, too.”
She added a prophecy: “We’re on our way to dominating the transportation system.”
Ndeye may be right, or at the very least, being a woman has its advantages in this economy of un-metered taxis and haggled fares.
“We negotiate better,” bragged taxi sister Oulimata Samba, 28. Transport consultant Papis Bassene agreed:
“The taxi sisters are more charming,” he said. “Psychologically, you may think that the woman has more need of the help.”
Indeed. Shortly before Ndiane coaxes a $10 fare from a GlobalPost correspondent — five times what he would have paid a taxi brother — she made a vow.
“After five years, we’re going to buy these cars,” she said. “And then we’re going to buy some more cars, bigger cars.
“One, two, four,”— she hesitated —“then a thousand.”
Iss, the octogenarian cab driver, hopes he lives to see it.
“They work hard,” he acknowledged. “We the men have to let them earn, because we have so many women who live on the street. We need to lift them up.”


Had to start my blog with someone else's accounting of the taxis - I could not have written it any better!! - Bram Posthumus is a freelance correspondent and radio producer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


Three steps out, shop’s across the street… BEEP!
…emerging from shop with baguette… BEEP!
…four steps along the street in the direction of the fruit stall on the corner… BEEP!
…six steps later on the way to same fruit stall… BEEP!
…returning from fruit stall with a few Clementines, just crossing the street to another shop to get some mineral water (which is…BEEP!…I said: which is for my coffee machine).
Swinging by the newspaper stand and there is temporary relief……home stretch with the groceries but just before getting into the door… BEEP!
This is not a car alarm constantly going off, nor is it an irritating kid playing with some obnoxious electronic device whilst keeping up with me.
Nope. It's..... the sound of Dakar’s taxis. And if there is one thing I could change about this place… BEEP!
…I would BAN these incessant short sharp hits on the claxon button.
When it is
blatantly clear that I have no
intention to use a taxi because I did not wave my arm or nod my head, I did not look in the direction of the driver or made any gesture at all to suggest that I was going to need a ride.
BEEP! “Taxi?”
This is quickly (and unhealthily I admit!) becoming my Dakar pet hate. Taximen: I will let you know when I intend to make use of your services, thank you. No need to BEEP!, slow down when I am trying to cross the effin’ road, flash lights, BEEP! some more. I – WILL – LET – YOU – KNOW!!!
Bloody hell.


After 9 months we think nothing of it. We look for a taxi, flag one down but not frantically waving our hands in the air like we might in San Francisco. There is no rush or concern we won't find a taxi. Taxis are EVERYWHERE. There is a complete oversupply of them and many times they are empty. So we approach getting one - with either a glance as one slowly passes us by or we lift our arm no higher than the waist and sort of point to the ground to get their attention.  

Upon our first few weeks back in August we probably  looked more like deers caught up in headlights regarding the nature of the transport process. We were in a mental state of high arousal caused by anxiety, fear, panic, surprise and confusion by the nature of it all - the honking to get your attention, the pre-negotiation before entering the vehicle, our lack of orientation and  the complete disrepair of the taxi. In the beginning we were sure targets for major price gouging but now we are masters of the game.

After we started getting into these taxi/car/vehicles (are they even allowed to be called that?) I started to take notice of the sad state of affairs.

It's a guarantee the taxi will have a broken windshield  - with an ever growing spider web of cracks. One day I asked a driver (not of the vehicle above) how he got his crack. He told me a soccer ball from kids playing in the street. Part of me wanted to believe that his story had some validity. 

Along with the windshield you will come across the following - a dangling side view mirror,  exposed wires - no need to put the key in the ignition I guess, doors that don't really close, missing locks, missing radio speakers (which can be a blessing sometimes),  missing or broken door handles, missing window cranks , or window visors held up by safety pins. Oh yeah then there's the rear view mirror held on by wire and rubber bands and in some cases there isn't one at all. Manning reminds me when we realize that it is missing - it's okay - the side mirrors are there (usually). I'm not so sure about this but by then we're already in the taxi and on our way.  I've never done a real check but I wonder if it's either the side mirrors OR the rear view that is 'in tact' but not both. That would be asking too much.

In some cases but it is so so rare - we'll come upon a taxi with seat belts.  And in the photo below, I've only proven that in some "newer" taxis they do exist.

One other thing that did catch my eye which I've found rather humorous and ironic is that in the front and or back seats there is this velour kind of upholstery that is covering the seat. And on it are the words "Good Luck". I'm not sure what to think.

Other taxi features include displaying a photo of the marabout of their Muslim brotherhood, or hanging gri-gris, or amulets, that taxis drivers attach to their back bumpers.  Many times a cow's tail. Accident protection insurance perhaps?


I'm not so sure because one day I was heading to La Pouponnière and my taxi man got into a little collision. I never did confirm his gri-gri status.  I was in the back seat and after each car stopped at their intersection even though there are no stop signs it wasn't clear how the 'right of way' works here so I kind of braced myself.  I could tell what was about to happen and thankfully no one was hurt. At first I did not know what to do. So I waited in the taxi then got out and waited at the corner - wondering if the police come? insurance numbers are exchanged? a witness report?  The driver of the SUV went off somewhere for a moment.  Taxi man stood around and said I need not wait, so at this point I just paid him a partial fair (I mean he never did get me to my final destination) yet I was able to walk the rest of the way since we were  3 blocks shy of where I needed to be. 

The upside to taking a taxi is that it gives us an additional amount of time to learn more about the Senegalese people around us.  We have our 'routine' set of questions for them - where do they live? Where were they born?  Do they have a family? kids? how old? who were they going to vote for? and what musicians do they like? It's not long before you are in a short but sweet conversation. In the last 3 months or so we started expanding our horizons by testing our Wolof skills.  We consider it an opportunity to get in a short lesson and a good laugh because it takes a number of times for the driver to repeat the word or phrase we are trying to learn but they help us with much delight.

With regards  the topic of Senegalese singers, one driver had to show us what he had folded up in his glove box. Ismaël Lô - YEAH BABY!

Now that I've mentioned all the "beauty marks" about the taxis - I want to cover that  "pre-nuptial" agreement you come to before opening the door and getting in. Once you flag your man down, you give them your destination and price. We of course now have the neighborhoods figured out in terms of where we are going so we know we'll always be between 1,000 - 2,500 cfa. And for us anything less than 1,000 is normally walking distance - and we are okay with walking. Maybe it's more like darting around objects but it's one way to learn the city!  The way it works is you give the taxi man  a price. They turn you down. And give you their price. You laugh at their price. You repeat your price. They repeat their price. Then you do it again. Then on occasion we either send in the troupes (that would be Parker or Addison) and the deal is done. Or we start to walk away and are waved back. And who cares if you have to walk away because guess what - there's another taxi waiting since the first taxi is blocking all others behind it! With that a final price repeat, open door, slide in, off we go.

I admit I may kind of miss this when we return to Berkeley - slightly - but then again I will get to ride my bike!!

Monday, June 4, 2012


How Many, How Much 

How many slams in an old screen door?
    Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
    Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
    Depends how good you live 'em.
How much love inside a friend?
    Depends how much you give 'em.
- Shel Silverstein

Ghazi's favorite things - Connect 4 and Popcorn

Hug of War

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
- Shel Silverstein

Parker, Ghazi, Addison

Ghazi trying to like spaghetti and meatballs

Eighteen Flavors

Eighteen luscious, scrumptious flavors
Chocolate, lime and cherry,
Coffee, pumpkin, fudge banana
Caramel cream and boysenberry.
Rocky road and toasted almond,
Butterscotch, vanilla dip,
Butter brickle, apple ripple,
Coconut and mocha chip,
Brandy peach and lemon custard,
Each scoop lovely, smooth and round,
Tallest ice cream cone in town,
Lying there (sniff) on the ground.
- Shel Silverstein

Mango Glace with Sebastien and PJ

Parker, Addison and Amadou (at Institut Francais  Library)

Amadou with P/A at the Trampoline

Addison, Ibrahima, Abdoulaye (little boy), Parker

Addison, Parker and Ibrahima

Lucas, Amadou, Nathan, Addison, Henri, Parker, Mamadou 

Walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
— Albert Camus

Nathan (with American money), Parker and Addison

Playing Tanki Online - helping Nathan make the next level

Parker, Addison and Ghazi (more Tanki Online -it's an obsession)

Addison, Parker, Ghazi and Abass - off to the beach

Henri, Addison, Parker

(back row) Addison, Maxime   (front row) Amadou, Ghazi - school excursion

Afterschool Soccer with Coach Sagna

Let's Not Wait

We will meet again my friend,
A hundred years from today
Far away from where we lived
And where we used to play.
We will know each others' eyes
And wonder where we met
Your laugh will sound familiar
Your heart, I won't forget.
We will meet, I'm sure of this,
But let's not wait till then . . .
Let's take a walk beneath the stars
And share this world again.
- Anonymous 

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
―A.A Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh