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Home Again, Home Again

By rosessupposes

This semester has been... eventful. So many new experiences, with travel, food, people, customs... And now, I'm home again, back in my tiny Massachusetts hometown- it's a far cry from Dakar, the bustling capital of Senegal. But I've only been home about 5 days, and it's still hard to truly process how this experience may have changed me (besides the henna that's still on my hands).

I believe it will take a lot more time and probably re-entry into the GW school & social environment to really conceptualize what about my outlook on the world has changed. So, to finish off this blog, I'll talk about what I can understand at this point.

What I'm Glad to Leave Behind:

  • Bathrooms with only sometimes-working water and no toilet paper
  • Eating red meat almost every single day
  • More frequent street harassment and marriage proposals
  • Not being able to understand the Wolof or Pulaar conversations around me
  • Lack of washing machines, dryers, or dishwashers
  • Weekly power outages
  • The neighborhood chorus of obnoxious sheep and goats
  • Street cats and dogs

What I'm Going to Miss (or am missing already)

  • My little host brother Mohammed and his toy cars
  • Cafe Touba in the street for 10 US cents
  • Haggling with taxis and in markets
  • Tailored clothes from the fabrics you chose yourself
  • Speaking French and hearing myself improve
  • Ataaya with the Ouakam kids
  • The balmy temperatures of winter in Dakar

What I Am Bringing Home

  • Two bags of Cafe Touba that I'm learning to brew myself
  • 'Wax' fabric for my mum and bracelets for my friends
  • Huge Senegalese flag for my dorm room
  • Much more functional French vocabulary and ability
  • Better appreciation of my privileges here (especially technological)
  • Improved awareness of strong and weak sectors of development in Senegal and similar countries
  • Experiences of living in a part of the world that most of America knows little-to-nothing about