A Day in the Life- Senegal

Sinead Nardi-White - Senegal


November 27, 2019

6:30 AM- wake up to a combination of my alarm clock, the multiple roosters and donkeys in the neighborhood, and the snorting of our horse who is tied up right outside my room (see photo of me, said horse, and the arm of a 

smart person who knew not to let me hold the horse alone below)
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7:00 AM- have breakfast, which is mint tea and bread with chocolate or bread with butter or bread with eggs or bread with petit pois (peas) or bread with with with- the options are endless, but always bread
7:30 AM- head to the school, or Lycee, to teach English- the walk is about 15 minutes and has allowed me to see entirely different neighborhoods from where I live, but where most of my students live
8:00 AM- arrive at school and begin teaching- I am in the upper level English classes, where I teach English language functions and my supervisor teaches proper grammar. I’ve found it challenging because the class sizes are huge and all my students are older than me, but I like the lesson planning and want to help facilitate more spoken English practice in the coming months if possible. 
12 PM- walk home from school, get sunburned, greet the neighbors (who all know me even when I don’t know them), collapse on the floor of my room with my face as close to the fan as possible 
1:30 PM- sit on the steps of my house and read, draw, or journal until my host siblings return from school themselves- they recently surprised me by greeting me in English (which was immediately followed by them running past me into the house in a fit of giggles), which has now become an everyday occurrence 
2:00 PM- lunch, which is ceeb u jenn bës bu nekk (rice and fish every day) 
4:00 PM- go to my carpentry shop, where I: help build beds or doors or cabinets or stools (photo evidence below), drink attaya (mint tea served in three rounds, which increase in sweetness and decrease in strength), and listen to a vaguely confusing Senegalese radio show where both the interviewer and interviewee always seem equally confused, but still incredibly enthusiastic
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7:00 PM- go home and take a bucket shower, which is very welcome after a long and hot day
8:00 PM- eat dinner, which is often couscous and yogurt
9:00 PM- take my malaria pill, spend way too long arranging my mosquito net (the closest I’ve ever come to crying out of frustration in Senegal is when I’m doing this- one side will be on and will pop off when I’m so close to having it done), and go to bed! 
Every Tuesday and Thursday I also have Wolof language class, which entails taking a taxi from Touba Toul to nearby Khombole. Language remains the hardest part of my time here in Senegal, just because so much else rests on me being able to communicate with my community. My main goal here is to observe and learn as much as possible about the culture so I can most accurately portray this year to people once I’m back in America, and I will continue to work on Wolof in order to make my experience authentic.

Sinead Nardi-White