So I’ve officially been in Senegal for a week and 2 days, so I suppose if I’m going to make this blog thing happen, I should hit the ground running and give a recap of my time thus far.
Overall: It’s been a super emotional week for me! I’ve never traveled far by myself and for such a long time. It hasn’t quite hit me that I’ll be here for 6 months; and it didn’t quite hit me that I was coming all by myself until our plane landed and I got through customs, then it was like “sh*t…who was picking me up again? What do they look like? Where am I supposed to meet them? Dang it, who speaks English here!” I actually almost cried upon arrival because I couldn’t find the person who had my name on a sign. The first two days were pretty hard – you would think I never studied French or Wolof before, but as my nerves calmed, my French came back in full force – and I remembered I don’t actually have that much Wolof to loose yet.
And so in the little time that I’ve been here, I’ve had maffe, ceebu jen, attaaya, a million and one bug bites, lots of 2nd hand smoke, I’ve danced till the morning and gotten a marriage proposal. I’ve yet to walk more than a half mile radius of my house by myself, barter for a good price or not stumble through a conversation. I’ve also yet to take any photos. This is very odd of me since I usually take a bunch. But between not knowing how to say much and remembering my trip to Ghana where kids grab for your camera when you try taking pictures, I’ve been hesitant. The one day it rained, I felt the urge to take a picture and put a caption that would read: “Nothing clears the streets of Dakar like a rainstorm,” but I just wanted to hurry home instead.
With that said, here are a few of my most prominent first impressions. I’ve broken them down into the following posts.
My goal for the coming weeks is to start taking pictures – oh and get better and Wolof and French.