51 Things to do While Waiting for the Plane to Dakar

1.     Go pee.

2.     While peeing, think about how you won’t be using toilet paper for the next eight months.

3.     Try to calm the rising panic in your stomach as you imagine your life without toilet paper.

4.     Go for a walk around the terminal.

5.     Charge your phone.

6.     Second-guess every decision you have ever made that has led you to the point where you are willingly going to a place without toilet paper.

7.     Consider calling your mom.

8.     Consider calling your dad.

9.     Instead of calling your mom or dad, go to Buffalo Wild Wings for your last meal in the U.S.

10. Treat yourself to strawberry lemonade—after all, you don’t know the next time you will be drinking one.

11. Wonder why you decided you wanted strawberry lemonade when you don’t even like lemonade.

12. Order the mild wings and then spend forever waiting for ranch because your weak taste buds can’t handle mild wings on their own.

13. Wonder how you are going to survive in Senegal when mild wings are too spicy for you.

14. Try to journal.

15. Listen to the announcement that your gate has changed.

16. Try to stuff everything into your backpack so you can move.

17. Wonder why nothing will fit in your backpack when it did the night before.

18. Drink some water.

19. Try to sleep.

20. Fail to sleep.

21. Take some melatonin.

22. Check the battery percentage on your phone.

23. Steal someone’s blanket.

24. Actually fall asleep.

25. Wake up five minutes later to a member of your cohort who hasn’t slept in 24 hours proclaim that they won’t go to sleep until they reach Dakar.

26. Wonder if you are going to a foreign country with a bunch of crazy, sleep deprived idiots.

27. Realize that you are, indeed, going to a foreign country with a bunch of crazy, sleep deprived idiots.

28. Realize that at this point, you are a crazy, sleep-deprived idiot.

29. Answer your dad’s call.

30. Assure your dad that you will make good choices while in Senegal.

31. Hang up and reflect upon the fact that your dad used to tell you to make good choices ironically, but this time he was serious.

32. Call your best friend.

33. Say goodbye to your best friend.

34. Have the realization that you won’t be able to hug your best friend for ten months hit you like a punch to the gut.

35. Realize you were supposed to board the plane an hour ago, but the plane has yet to arrive at the gate.

36. Wonder if this is a sign that you should get on the next flight back to Seattle.

37. Take your malaria medication.

38. Fill up your water bottle.

39. Think about how much you are going to miss your dogs.

40. Listen to the same member who declared he wouldn’t sleep until Dakar announce in a much less enthusiastic tone that he won’t sleep until he gets on the plane.

41. Hear the announcement that the plane is boarding.

42. Wake up the sleeping members of your cohort.

43. Return the stolen blanket.

44. Wish you brought your own blanket.

45. Take out your boarding pass and passport.

46. Get in line.

47. Second-guess yourself for the 27th time in the last five minutes.

48. Wonder if second-guessing yourself for the 27th time should be called 27th-guessing yourself.

49. Give your boarding pass to the gate attendant.

50. Realize that there is no turning back.

51. Board the plane.