Phoebe Shea Perez

Phoebe is particularly passionate about indigenous people's rights, liberation pedagogy, and world cultures. She volunteers with local organizations teaching English to recent Central American immigrants in the United States; shea's an active member of foreign language clubs, having been the former president of French Honor Society at her high school; and shea's involved with Hope Community Center's Sin Fronteras Youth Group, through which she has deepened her involvement with the Fair Food Campaign, women's rights movements across the world, and the fight for immigrant justice. This year, Phoebe hopes to expand her knowledge about Islam and traditional West African cultures, and to become fluent in French and Wolof. She also hopes to cultivate meaningful relationships with her fellows and her host community and to authentically explore what it means to be a citizen of the world. Phoebe's favorite quote is "When "I" is replaced with "we" even illness becomes wellness." - Malcolm X


a retrospective look at February

After looking at and listening to past journal entries, notes in my phone, audio recordings from late at night when I’d talk to myself, drawings from my siblings, photo reminders, and memories engraved in foreign songs, I’ve begun to develop an appreciation for the beauty of my Février in Touba Toul. My unhealthy obsession with…

01 June, 2019

on a nostalgia that never arrived & trans-linguistic familiarity

Mangi fi – I’m here.  For now, I’m here in Guatemala, yet another place I indulge in calling home. I’m back in a place that further reduces the nostalgia I had so long anticipated for Senegal, a nostalgia that never quite arrived. I occasionally do miss the concrete things that I can’t naturally do here…

22 May, 2019

To the Wellesley Dean of Admission… a Gap Year update

[Note: this entry was originally sent to Wellesley in an email as a gap year update, but I thought it fitting to post here as well since it encompasses so much of my sojourn in Senegal thus far.] To the Wellesley Dean of Admission, I hope this email finds you well. I apologise for sending…

18 March, 2019

A Senegalese Room of My Own

These are pictures of my room in its afternoon glory of a surprisingly soothing Saturday in Touba Toul. This was the first day my room here felt like my room. That morning I had gone to work against my own will – I’m always afraid to go on Saturdays when we have the weekly market…

17 December, 2018

“Desaprender lo que creo haber aprendido”: musings of a guatemalteca in Senegal

After five weeks of living in Touba Toul, I’m proud to say that even though kids in the streets tirelessly still call me toubab (Wolof for westerner), my family consistently mentions I’m becoming Senegalese. Two Fridays ago, at my cousin’s wedding in Doudoul, when we had finished cooking a colossal amount of beñe (1) and…

08 October, 2018

“A World Ahead”: lessons from my playlists and suitcases

[Image description: photo of myself at the Orlando Museum of Art in front of Dan Halter’s Rifugiato Mappa del Mondo] Packing my suitcase for the next eight months in Senegal brought an initially incomprehensible sense of déjà vu. For days I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I had already packed for this sojourn, but…

05 October, 2018

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Phoebe Shea Perez