Falling In Love

Maddi McGirr - Senegal


April 15, 2019

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.

Maddi McGirr