Change in Routine

Naomi Wright - Senegal


October 29, 2010

I wanted to write a little summation of my time here in the big city, especially because it’s likely my access to the internet will be quite limited for the next month. I’ve spent the last few hours trying to mock up an outline, but my mind-voice keeps giggle-whispering, I leave Dakar in four days… Eeep!

Let’s just say I’m having trouble thinking retrospectively when I’m so excited about the next step in my Global Citizen Year journey: going to Potou, meeting my host family, becoming acquainted with my apprenticeship. Tasting, for the first time, the next sixth months of my life.

At the same time, I know the coming transition to Potou would be darn near impossible if I hadn’t first faced the challenges of settling in Dakar, of finding routine in the unfamiliar.

I remember when trash-lined curbs seemed abnormal, when I was startled by the bleating from tethered Tabaski sheep, when my sister didn’t run full speed and screaming at me when I opened the front door at night. I must remind myself that I haven’t always known the Asalaa maalekum, Maalekum salaam repartée by heart, haven’t always felt comfortable in the ninety degree sunbeat at noon, haven’t always heard the melodic call to prayer five times daily.

In some ways, the move to Potou feels like a step backward; just when I’m learning the ways of Dakar, the tablecloth is being ripped from under me. I will once again be scrambling for the tiniest sense of normalcy. With perhaps more than the warranted amount of audacity, I predict that the transition to my village will be a tremendous step forward.

Naomi Wright