If you asked me where I’d thought I’d be in a year before Senegal you’d never have heard “in love” yet here I am.
I fell in love with my mismatch family who’s relations I never fully figured out.
I fell in love with my students who took me in with such enthusiasm and understanding.
I fell in love with the pink sky that fell on my house during prayer time.
I fell in love with watching the stars at night in wonder at my new reality.
I fell in love with the smile of my younger host brother.
I fell in love with the walk through the market and passing by with bright eyes and loose greetings.
I fell in love with the slight breeze falling on my flushed face walking home from school.
I fell in love with nights spent laughing at some ridiculous boyish behaviour and drinking cheese milk till 1am.
I fell in the love with my host sisters tickling me to pain and acting crazy in the night
I fell in love with the one on one close conversations with my yaay when the others have left the house
I fell in love with the walk to my host sisters house in the early evening sunset
I fell in love with the late night trips to the gas station restaurant with Mounas to buy fattaya
I fell in love with the artisinal village and the atmosphere of tailor shops and jewellers
I fell in love with making activities last minute for my favourite class the next day at school
I fell in love with walking home from apprenticeship with my closest friend here
I fell in love with Diabiara, dancing and Senegalese music
I fell in love with the way that I can never tell if my papa is joking or not an I fell in love with the way he sings “Sugar Sugar” whilst we eat breakfast
I fell in love with waking up to a golden sunlight gently sprawled across my bed
I fell in love with playing cards and I fell in love with checkers
I fell in love with Awa and her astonishingly cute ways
I fell in love with the numerous boys who shared their kindness and smiles
I fell in love with the girls who committed to our English club and the energy that they posses
I fell in love with cooking on a Sunday day morning
I fell in love with the goats and chickens walking aimlessly round the streets
I fell in love with the horse ride to the garage and the squishy, sweaty, 40 minute car ride to Thies
I fell in love with sharing. Sharing even when there might not have been enough to share.
I fell in love with the people who allowed themselves to fall in love with me. I learnt to appreciate the people around me and I’m so grateful that this country gave me the space to fall in love so recklessly and deeply this year.