Back on a High

It’s not even 10AM yet but today’s already been an incredible day. I woke up at 6 and went to the rooftop terrace as the sun rose to disregard my exercise regime in order to spray my clothes with permethrin to guard against mosquitos the next week.

Next week is fall break and five friends and I are going to the southeast of Senegal to visit small villages and the pays Bassari. All that we planned so far is that on the first day we’ll make it to Kédougou, Insha’Allah*. Then we’ll hike to some waterfalls, Insha’Allah, lumos (weekly markets), Insha’Allah, and villages, Insha’Allah. Hopefully we’ll find accommodation, food, and clean water. I’ve never gone so unplanned but that’s why I’m so excited.

What really made my morning was that when I left for school, I felt for the first time genuine love towards my host mom, as if I didn’t want to leave for school because I wanted to be with her. The morning was sweetened by that little girl and her mother who I occasionally see and who are so happy to see me, and by the two pieces of candy (cough drops) that Kira’s mom randomly decided to send me to say hello.

An unrelated photo from a night at L’institut francais – but this is exactly how I feel!

*Insha’Allah is Arabic for “God willing” and it’s the one phrase that I’d love to transport back to America. It’s so applicable here – we’ll get to Kédougou provided that we find a sept-place, that our sept-place doesn’t break down, that the roads are good, that our driver doesn’t get lost, etc. etc. And it’s great to accept ahead of time that things probably aren’t going to go right and that you’re going to go with the flow when it doesn’t. However, Insha’Allah is used very often here, sometimes to hilarious effect – we’ll say ba suba, (see you in the morning), and then be met with Insha’Allah.


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