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  • Natalie Davidson

    Thank you for writing this beautiful piece. You are so right — so incredibly on point here. It’s only November. Imagine how much more ingrained these lessons will be by the time you’re moving out of the village? I love that you’re taking the time out of your experience to notice and understand these moments. Continue living your life of unadorned luxury to its fullest — time will truly begin to fly by!

    Can’t wait for your next blog.
    Natalie (Senegal 2012)

  • J. Siragusa

    A lovely expression of the experience you are having in Senegal. I am so honored to know you. I can’t wait to sit down with you and share a cup of coffee across the kitchen table. Love you, Max.

  • Sharon Shouse

    Dear Max,

    You cannot imagine how very proud I am of you! The little boy that I taught in first grade, smart as you were then, has grown into a man of rare insights. Life as we know it, is truly happy and full of luxuries, but you are correct in saying that all you are experiencing in this little village in Africa, will stay with you forever, enriching your life beyond measure and filling it with so much laughter!

    Love and many blessings to you! Mrs. Shouse (Athens, Ga, USA)

  • Lucias Potter

    I always love you blogs man. Your metaphors never cease to amaze me. You just made me realize another lesson or subliminal form of education I received. My connection to things used to be lonesome before coming back from Senegal. Since being back I don’t do anything alone anymore. I’m always with family. I don’t even think I’ve played single player on any games. Where you are is very a sublime place. I bet you’ll come back with lessons learned that you never paid attention to.

  • Lila Schwenk


    I know your Mom from writing class and think the world of her. Now even more so, as she and your father raised a caring and sharing young man. Your appreciation for your wonderful life is a gift any parent would be proud to hear from their children. In the “me” world we live in, especially in the U.S., how refreshing it is to read your blog and hear the concern you have for others. Bless you for what you’re doing, continue to enjoy your experiences there and safe travels on your return home. I know your family is anxious to see you again.

  • Nancy

    Thanks, Max, for another update. What a mature man to realize at your age what is truly important in life. NJ/NY have dealt with a lot in the past 2weeks, no gas, no power, no heat, no school but they know in time all will be well. Maybe not the same but well. These Americans who lost everything will be able to rebuild. There are resources available for their recovery. Not so for many in Senegal, survival is their hope. It’s important every once in a while to be reminded about what is really important. God Bless!

  • Conor Farese

    How right you are, Max, and I’m glad you’re sharing your thinking with the rest of us. It’s a healthy reminder to keep focusing on our happiness — whether in Senegal or the U.S. All the best!

  • Abby Juhlmann

    Hey Max, I’m glad I finally found your blog, I’ve been enjoying it all night. It’s beautiful. You are an incredible writer. Can’t wait to get a coffee or take a walk or something of that sort when you are back. Be safe.

  • S.Bean

    Our family is so blessed, and you have added so much to our awareness of just how much. I am counting the days until I can sit with you, and your family, and laugh,and learn of your journey.I ADMIRE YOU SO MUCH,AND LOVE YOU DEARLY! For Now, Nana

  • Meg Crenshaw

    Wonderful post, Max. Thanks for sharing!

  • Carolyn FIles

    Max–What a great experience you are living. You will have to get Snuffy to tell you about Aunt Maude and her banana boat travels to Central and South America, going into jungles to sketch natives and write travel stories to send to “Lands of Romance,” a travel magazine.

  • Willie

    Max, can’t wait to see you and eat some venison sausage with you. John Cougar Mellencamp stated the the best thing in life is “the hang.” I am no huge fan of the man but I do agree with his statement. Life is nothing but the connections you have with friends and loved ones, the rest is sausage…..I need to kill you a deer because I seem preoccupied with processed meats. See you soon, Uncle Willie

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