Allowing Yourself to Break Free

There is never a dull moment in Senegal (pun intended). As I make my final
errands for my supervisor’s wedding in Dakar and wrap up my final community
project, I often forget those who have been with me throughout this entire
journey: my host family. Although I had issues initially when I was
assimilating into the context of Senegal, I told myself to never get close
as I would have to say goodbye to them eventually. I am a person who never
likes to say goodbye. Dama leen begg trop, wante, sama xol dina dafay meti
buma waaxee “Ba bannen yonn” ci naari ayubess (this is terrible Wolof by
the way).
Over time, I have accepted the inevitable and recognized that it will hurt
when I say goodbye. I think it is only human nature to think of that. To be
better prepared and leave with a content mindset, I wrote them a card and
plan on leaving something I owned/bought so that they can remember me.

These are some excerpts I wrote for their cards
*I will translate this below
To Cheikh, Bintou, Fama Gueye, Mame Sokhna, Yaaya, ak Yaye Bouba: Dangeen
rafet, amngeen dole, ak dangeen moos. Jerejef xale pur yepp ak Dinaa leen
gis bannen yonn inchallah.

To Sama Yaay #1: Ndaxte yow, lekknaa bu bari ba sur. Jerejef pur sa
terranga, Dinaa lay namen bu baax (more than anyone quite honestly). Danga
baax ndaxte dangay man waxtaan busbenekk, [even] buma dama triste.

To Sama Baay: Duma Baay Fall, wante, ci sama xol, baay fall laa tudd. Sa
dome laa ak yow, sama baay nga. Balma ndaxte dama feebaroon bu baax ak
damay demoon Clinique Concepcion juroom benn fois (I had 3 unique cases).

To my host siblings: you guys are beautiful, you guys have strength, and
you guys are intelligent. Thank you for everything and I will see you guys
once again God permitting.

To my first mom: because of you, I eat a lot until I am full. Thank you for
your hospitality, I will miss you a lot. You are good because you talk to
me everyday, even when I am sad.

To my dad: I am not a Baay Fall (a follower in a Muslim sect), but in my
heart, my name is Baay Fall. I am your child and you are my dad. I am sorry
because I was sick a lot and I had to go to the clinic six times.

In addition to saying goodbye to those whom I communicate with on a daily
basis, I will say goodbye to the exhausting, yet rewardful routine I have
maintained these past months.

7:00 am – wake up and use the free 1 gig of data (thanks orange!)
8:00 am – change and slowly get out of my room
8:15 am – get on the bus or a fairly priced taxi to go to my apprenticeship
8:30 am – arrive at my school and do lessons/tasks my supervisor wants me
to do
*I go to Wolof class from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Tuesdays
2:00 pm – finish classes and head home if I do not need to run errands or
use the WiFi to work on personal matters
3:00 pm – eat lunch
3:30 pm – do whatever I feel like doing (playing with my host siblings,
running around my neighborhood, take a fat nap if I feel tired or my
siblings aren’t home)
*I go to Wolof class from 5 to 7 pm on Fridays
7:00 pm – hang out at the boutique (corner stone) and talk to the boutique
person and assist him in handing stuff out to customers for fun
10:30 pm – eat dinner
11:00 pm – take a shower
11:15 pm – talk with my host dad (if he’s home) or anyone who is awake
while drinking attaya
12:30 am – sleep

I will probably post one more blog when I get back to the States on the GCY
website, and for my capstone project, I will publish media content on
@demandafrica with some more in-depth experiences/blogs. Cheers!