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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