Natalie Davidson

An accomplished sailor, Natalie has been captain of her high school sailing team for three years and coaches at a sailing camp in the summer. When she’s not on the water she enjoys drawing, painting, and ceramics. She also served as chair of the Health and Wellness committee on the San Francisco Youth Commission, and she loves spending time with her dogs.


Trading My Mosquito Net for Chapter 3

Tomorrow marks the 1 month anniversary of being “back home.” These past 4 weeks have been a whirlwind of old experiences that feel brand new — such as a grilled cheese sandwich or traffic laws — things that used to be normal, things I haven’t seen, felt, done, tasted, heard in 8 months that are…

22 May, 2012

And In the End, the Love You Take is Equal to the Love You Make.

My (American) mom is rather sentimental. One might even say she is the definition of sentimentality. Just two days before my departure my parents presented me with a going away gift – a beautiful book titled “Love Letters to Senegal.” My mom had compiled 33 letters from my loved ones – family members, “honorary” family…

14 March, 2012


About a month ago I was with my mom and my sister heading home from the market in Rufisque, a town 25 minutes from my village of Sebikotane. It was a balmy evening, around 8pm – the sky was clear and the stars were bright. We were returning after a successful afternoon of shopping with…

09 February, 2012

Corporal Punishment

  Global Citizen Year provides Fellows with complete, succinct and crucial preparation prior to placing us in the field. Upon arrival in Senegal I felt well equipped to handle the inevitable culture shock – I was ready to face my immersion with an open mind and a compassionate heart, and with no expectations. However, nothing…

15 December, 2011


I’m sitting in the courtyard at my grandmother’s house on a brightly patterned woven mat on the ground. The sun is no longer beating directly overhead and the shade beneath the huge tree provides a cool comfort perfect for napping. Eight beautiful women surround me – each wrapped in vivid Senegalese cloth, laughing, singing, and…

03 November, 2011

Dessine moi un cheval!

My mom handed me a bologna sandwich for dinner tonight. I studied it for a few minutes and started to laugh – an honest to goodness, full-blown, something-must-be-really-funny laugh. I don’t know exactly why I started laughing, but I know it felt great and luckily for me my only witness was Issa, my five year…

05 October, 2011


Why yes, I am writing this blog post from beneath my mosquito net.   I currently have 25 bug bites (just south of my knees), two dead (massive) cockroaches in my trashcan, and a spider named Toubab that has moved in to my almost-unpacked suitcase. Despite my severe disliking of bugs in general (especially bugs…

07 September, 2011

Trading My Safety Net for a Mosquito Net

In January of 2011 my mom suggested out of the blue that I consider applying to a gap year program. With college applications so recently finished and my second semester starting out as lazy and carefree as I was always promised, I had no desire to start filling out yet another application, especially for a…

06 July, 2011

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Natalie Davidson