10 things I wish they told me before coming to Khombole

February 2019

1. Senegalese summers are hot, and when I say hot, I mean waking up dripping in sweat at 3 AM because there was a power cut and your lovely fan stopped working.

2. There is some kind of “winter” in here. It gets very cold and windy during late nights and early mornings. Damn, I should’ve had brought more sweaters.

3. You’ll probably gain weight from all the deliciously fatty and sugary food, but you know what? Fat shaming is not a thing here! The more you eat, the more people love you!

4. Damn, life here is so cheap, but wait, where did all my money go???

5. Bucket showers are AMAZING. It’s efficient, great, and it saves the planet. Wait no, it’s only great when it’s hot. When it’s cold? You definitely won’t want to shower ever again.

6. People here are SPICEY and when I say spicy, I mean people will always find a way to sass you with a grain of black pepper and Maggie (a common spice). Especially Senegalese women, BEWARE of those women!

7. Sand is annoying. Why hasn’t it gone extinct yet?

8. You will find true comfort in squatting when you go to the bathroom. Now I squat all the time: while doing laundry, while talking to people, while sleeping (actually, no, but I wish).

9. The fellows living in the same site as you can become your best allies. I have been blessed by those long afternoon walks and weekend chit chats (Khombole girls, I love you).

10. You have so much leisure time in Senegal! Enjoy those two hours naps, these lazy afternoons observing the world while listening to music, and those late night talks under the sky full of stars. You will never feel so at peace in not doing anything grandiose.