Ndande, Senegal – 3/18/2015

It has taken me a long time to think of what to write about her, because really, I was not entirely sure how I felt about her in the beginning. Even now, I know this post will not do her justice, but I think it is time I mention her.

I met her the first day of my immersion week, and she sat with me while I ate my first meal, noticing my sobbing breathes, but asking no questions. I was a wreck when I arrived, and did not want anyone to see me like that, because I felt I could not live with their pity. For no external reason, I found myself wanting to get back in the bus that had brought me. I missed home and she did not judge me outwardly for expressing my sadness. After I slept for a while she told me to put down my book and go spend some time with my family. I complied, realizing begrudgingly that she was right. That was why I was here, why I joined this program, to make global connections and learn more, step by step. I knew I would be living with them for the next seven months, so it was best to start out on the right foot. I stumbled through a conversation in [my] broken French with my cousin and listened as my brother talked with me in almost perfect English. Going out and actually talking with my family, I began to feel like I would have a home there. It was one of the best pieces of advice she has given to me this year.

After sitting a while in the veranda later that week I wanted to know about her and started asking her questions first beginning with her name. My name is AÌøsha Goumballa