A Day in Mai (My) Life

Mai Lee - Senegal


February 27, 2013

Here is a glimpse into my typical day:

7:00 AM Phone alarm goes off but I remain in bed

7:30 AM I roll out of bed and take a shower, eat my breakfast, try to look decent, etc. etc.

8:15 AM I am off to work at the local preschool, Jardin d’Enfant Soeur Marie Agathe Diouf,
with my four-year-old brother Jean. We walk to school everyday holding hands.

At school I do a variety of different things. I mostly help out the teachers with whatever they need, but right now I’ve started teaching them “Jingle Bells” and have started an art class where we are now coloring paper Christmas trees.

1:00 PM School ends and I go home with Jean and however many other kids decide to grab my hand and walk home with us.

1:15 PM Mama Ndeye is preparing lunch, chebb jenn, and I join in to help with whatever I can. Chebb jenn is the national meal of Senegal, and its Wolof name literally translates into ‘fish and rice.”

1:45 PM Lunchtime! The family sits around the big bowl on the ground with spoons and it’s chowtime.

2:30 PM After eating lunch, this is the usual Senegalese time for a nap. I show my cultural respect and take a nap as well.

4:00-7:00 PM Now this time of day is different everyday. Sometimes I go to our family boutique with my mom and hang out there, or spend time with my Senegalese friends or the other Fellow Jaeho Choi, or even spend some alone time writing in my journal or reading a book.

7:30 PM If I am out of the house, I come back home at this time to help prepare and eat dinner.

8:00 PM Sometimes I spend time with my four younger siblings—the oldest 9 and the youngest 15 months—or work on other things (reading, writing in journal, etc.), or go out to hangout with friends.

10:00 PM I set up my mosquito net, take my malaria pill, and lie in bed. I listen to music or have my deepest life thoughts until I drift to sleep.

Mai Lee