Week 1

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I arrived in Dakar on August 20th just around midnight. My first sights on the airplane included white and tan buildings, lots of fishing boats by the shore, and trees and sand. I’m not sure how I felt at that moment but I only knew that I had arrived. I stepped off the plane and it was hot. I’m used to hot weather because I live in Atlanta but that doesn’t mean that I’m immune to heat. After I touched ground, I took a bus that took us to the airport.

That’s when the mad rush started. I mean people were straight up running. So, I started running too. I know, perhaps not the greatest idea, but they had to be running for a reason. Right? So, there I am running and we get to a line. It’s a line to get checked into the country. At that point, I kind of understood why people were running. It’s because the lines are long.

Eventually, my passport was stamped and I was on my way to collect my bags. It took me a while but eventually I grabbed them and joined other students in my study abroad program. We drove for a while in order to be dropped off to our host family homes. I was picked up by my maman and one of my host brothers. When I arrived home, I met my brother’s wife, his son, and another relative staying in the house. The next day, I met my other brother and his wife and son. I also officially met the two maids and later this week met another relative that is staying with us. In short, I am living in a full house but I really like where I stay.

Since I am still getting adjusted to the lovely Dakar, I’ll just summarize the highlights of my first week:

  • I cannot eat mafé. It is a peanut butter sauce that is eaten with rice. The sauce really tore through my stomach. Therefore, it’s a no from me.
  • There is sand everywhere. It’s something that I’m still getting used to.
  • I’m not that bad at French. I just need to speak louder. On that note…
  • Dakar is a loud city. I hear (and see) airplanes, hear cars and motorcycles honking, and am constantly approached by people wanting to sell me things.
  • Cultural pals are a truly

I’m sure there are a few other things that I’m missing but these are things that have really stuck out to me. I wanted to take more pictures and video clips, but I didn’t. However, I do have a pretty amazing view of the city that I took from the rooftop of my school. The video is a bit shaky and short but you’ll get an idea.

Until next time,

Su