gsl [Gusilay]
Word collection dates: 
Monday, 13 February, 2017 to Saturday, 25 February, 2017
Total days: 
Thionck-Essyl, Casamance, Senegal
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Local context: 
The speakers of the Gusiilaay language live almost exclusively in one town, called Thionck-Essyl. The workshop was held at the recently constructed Women's Center in Thionck. Word collection was done on 11 different days, but two of the days were significantly shortened, making the total time spent on this equivalent to 10 days of word collection.
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The number of Gusiilaay speakers who participated in the workshop, especially the training phase and the initial portion of the word-collection phase, was significantly less than the number who had been invited and who had been expected to come, but enthusiasm among those present was high. The core group who attended the training sessions showed themselves to be both motivated and dedicated, though that did not extend so far as to prompt everyone to get there by the stated start time.

Because a certain number of those slated for one of the key roles (Group Leader, Scribe, or Glosser) did not respond to the invitation to participate by attending, the workshop Coordinators were kept busy shuffling people around to form whatever word-collection groups they could. The number of these groups, as well as their composition, varied not only from day to day but from one hour to the next, as participants trickled in or had to leave before the end of the day for one reason or another. These circumstances could very well have led to the group falling short of their goal of 10,000 raw words, but the Coordinators' unflagging efforts and the motivation of certain key participants enabled this workshop to come to a very encouraging conclusion, with nearly 12,500 raw words.

One of the participants said, "I don’t think anyone realises the impact yet of what we have done, but the future generations will understand." This is probably a good summary of what many Gusiilaay felt as they concluded their word-collection efforts: We aren't able to articulate the precise impact of this workshop, but we are sure it will prove to be a milestone event in the timeline of our people.