Get a glimpse of life as a Global Citizen Year Fellow, where no two days are ever the same.
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and am currently a student at the University of Florida. Before starting college I packed my bags and headed for Senegal, where I lived and learned in an awesome community for my Global Citizen Year. Here’s a look at what an average day (or as close to one as you can get) looked like during my gap year.
My day starts with a breakfast of bread and coffee in the patio area of my host family’s house. My host siblings and I take our time deliberating between chocolate and mayonnaise for our bread and discussing our plans for the rest of the day.
I ride my bike to the nearby junior and senior high school for my apprenticeship. Bike riding where the roads vary from muddy rivers to pothole filled tracks, is an instant adventure. I assist in English classes ranging from 6th grade to 12th grade. There’s never a dull moment where students are eager and excited to learn English.
After school I sometimes meet up with other Fellows to shop around the market or do some work on the Internet. If none of the other Fellows are in town, I make my way home on my bike, occasionally stopping for a snack, like a mango from Isatou’s mother’s vegetable stand.
My family has lunch altogether. Ceebu jen, Senegal’s national dish, is one of my favorite meals, especially when my host mom scrapes the crunchy rice from the bottom of the pot.
I gather with friends and family in the shade to chat, listen to music, and make attaya – a loose-leaf green tea, that’s a staple in households across Senegal. In between glasses of attaya, we also braid and unbraid hair.
If I don’t have language class, I get to hang out with this crew of kids. Safi, Coumba, and Hadja’s spontaneous singing and dancing make it nearly impossible for me to be around them without smiling or laughing.
I help out with sweeping, mopping and doing the dishes, but by far my favorite task is cooking with my host mom. Building my repertoire of local dishes has been a goal she and I have both enjoyed working on.
Believe it or not, sunsets as spectacular as this one occur quite frequently in my community. They remind me how incredibly lucky I am to spend my time in this incredible place with these incredible people, and leave me with a heart full of gratitude.
Day in the life / Senegal
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