I leave for Dakar, Senegal on August 20th at 11:45pm. I am unsure of exactly how I feel.
I am excited and nervous and a bit still in shock. The idea of me going to another country has still, somehow, not solidified in my brain. I think that my mix of emotions has a lot to do with the fact that I am not creating expectations for myself.
My lack of expectations does not mean that I do not want to enjoy my time or that I haven’t set goals or anything. My lack of expectations stems from my desire to arrive in Dakar as a blank canvas and to let all of the new experiences paint me anew. I do not want to arrive with ideas of how certain things (food, culture, people, etc.) are supposed to be. I want to arrive and simply let everything be. Therefore, I feel that arriving with no expectations is the best way for me to fully experience everything that Dakar and Senegal have to offer.
However, as I sort of just mentioned, I do have goals. I want to improve my French speaking skills, gain a basic grasp of Wolof, visit Gambia during my fall break, and explore Senegal. I believe that everything else that is meant to happen will happen.
I chose to go to study abroad because I wanted to improve my French. My first thought was France, but then I thought to myself, “No, go somewhere else.” So I turned to French-speaking countries in Africa. At first, I thought Morocco but then a thought came to me and said, “No, go somewhere else” (also, my father disliked the idea of me being in Morocco). I then turned to Senegal, saw the CIEE program, and made plans to apply. Now here I am getting ready to fly out on August 20th at 11:45pm.
I believe that my time in Senegal will be beneficial and I do hope that I enjoy myself. Senegal will be an interesting adventure and you (yes, the reader you) are welcome to join me. I’ll be blogging once a week and am planning on creating weekly videos to accompany them.
In the meantime, I need to buy some SD cards for my camera and find nice gifts for my host family.
Until next time.