Housekeeper, cook, and nanny-Madeleine Coly

Madeleine Coly worked within our employ full-time from March 2000 until August 2002 (Monday – Friday, half-day on Saturday) as a housekeeper, cook, and nanny for our family of 4.  She is an extremely reliable and responsible employee.  We also found her to be a wonderful person who has a very strong work ethic with a calm, mannerly demeanor and pleasant disposition.  Madeleine is able to speak, read, and understand, both French and English, successfully completing the Embassy training in hygienic practices, standards, and procedures re:  the handling/cleaning of food, drink, and vegetables.

I was pregnant with a temperamental toddler/preschooler when we initially hired Madeleine.  She always had a wonderful sense of humor, and consistently displayed being warm, diligent, trustworthy, and earnest in her care-taking role(s). When I traveled to the States to give birth, she rose to the occasion quite responsibly managing all of the household cleaning, laundry, shopping and cooking.  I was pleased to find upon my return that she followed instructions well and respectfully continued to maintain all of my specifications and preferences during my absence.  Returning to Senegal with a newborn infant and a preschooler transitioning into school, we hired another staff member.  Madeleine immediately showed us that she worked well with others. We could whole-heartedly entrust our children into her care at any time.  Additionally, she often willingly and gladly took care of our children when we had representational, personal events and/or invites to attend after-hours.

Over the past 20 years, Madeleine continued to work for families within the U.S. Embassy and American Expat community honing her language, caretaking, and cooking skills.  Recently, I have been able to witness firsthand how she has developed into a consummate cook and baker, who now skilled with the test of time, has collected and mastered quite an impressive repertoire of eclectic recipes from many different cultures.  She cooks local African, American, English, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, Caribbean, Thai and Asian cuisine:  Yassa, Thieboudienne, samosas, fatayer, spring rolls, lasagna, thin crust/pan pizza, breakfast casserole/frittata, chicken and dumplings, pakoras, tortillas, enchiladas, tacos, salsa, paella, Shepard’s pie, cornbread pudding, sweet potato souffle’, baked/fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, hummus, an array of vegetarian dishes.  She prides herself on her baked goods such as quiche, apple pie, banana bread, carrot cake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, spiced muffins, gingerbread, almond sandies and the list goes on and on.

We whole-heartedly recommend Madeleine as a cook and nanny.  Her contact info is:  Madeleine Coly m) 77 517 6175. 

Should you have questions or need additional information, I may be reached at m)221 77 418 4549, h)221 33 848 9284 or email: Elaine Samuels

January 18, 2021
To Whom It May Concern:
It is a pleasure to write this letter on behalf of Madeleine Coly, who was employed as a
housekeeper, cook and nanny for our family from August, 2013 through June, 2017.
What a pleasure it was to get to know Madeleine over those four years. I would not
hesitate to employ Madeleine again if the opportunity were to present itself, and I highly
recommend her in the role of housekeeper, cook and nanny for any domestic situation.
Even with all the privileges of being an American expat living in Dakar, there were still
specific stresses related to living within a new country, new languages, and a new set of
cultural norms. Having Madeleine in our lives eased those stresses tremendously.
For our family, Madeleine worked Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
During those hours, Madeleine cleaned our house, washed our laundry, helped manage
the gardener and guards and any other miscellaneous tasks that needed doing. She used
her knowledge of the markets of Dakar to purchase our groceries, making arrangements
for deliveries of fresh vegetables and dairy items, and accessing the best destinations for
fresh fish.
Additionally, Madeleine prepared dinner for our family each evening. She cooked
American as well as Senegalese meals plus anything else we requested. When employed
by families of the United States Embassy, Madeleine was trained in cooking for
American families and she regularly used those skills. She speaks and reads both French
and English and can cook from recipes in either language.
At various times, Madeleine also watched our early elementary aged children. Sometimes
the children went home with Madeleine after school, and sometimes we made special
arrangements for her to babysit on a weekend evening. There were occasions when both
my husband and I, who were employed at the International School of Dakar, needed to be
at work when one of our children was ill. At those times, Madeleine altered her schedule
in order to provide childcare. Our children felt quite comfortable and at ease with
Madeleine, and particularly loved the silly stories she told them at bedtime.
Each Halloween, our family enjoyed hosting a holiday open house. During those
occasions, Madeleine helped prepare our home for the party, concocted delicious hors
d’oeuvres, and stayed late at night to help with the cleaning.
Madeleine is a hard, steady worker who takes her job seriously and always follows
through on what she says. She consistently arrives on time and stays through her
designated hours. Madeleine is kind, empathetic and flexible. She is level-headed under
pressure, and always retains her fantastic sense of humor.
If you have the opportunity to employ Madeleine Coly, I highly recommend you do so.
She was a gem in our Senegalese experience, and I am happy to still be in contact with
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. I can be reached by phone (+1 413 240 4304), email (, or WhatsApp.
Julienne Guillaume
Former Teacher, International School of Dakar