Far From Done

Jose Duran Jr - Senegal


February 23, 2014

  • Monday, October 21: My birthday.
  • Tuesday, October 22: Helped deliver a baby.
  • Wednesday, October 23: Hay fus. (Nothing)
  • Thursday, October 24: Little girl passed away at the health post. (Malaria)
  • Friday, October 25: Hay fus. (Nothing)
  • Saturday, October 26: My first Senegalese party.

The week of my birthday was a particularly heavy week for me. Many of the realizations I’ve made about my beliefs and what I want to do in life, came from dealing with and thinking about the events that occurred through out this one week. Within the span of a few days I went from dealing with the harsh realities of life and death, all the way to experiencing the subtle happiness that comes from someone remembering your birthday, to learning to navigate the social awkwardness that is a teenage Senegalese dance party.

It was during these short few days that I truly realized that life is really only what we decide to make out of it. Now, I’m not saying that that I can save the world and become a super hero if I tried hard enough or something. What I’m saying is that we have the ability to choose the way we react to those events in life that are out of control and we can choose the way they will go on to affect us later in life.  I’ve realized that we can decide to find happiness in the times in which it is the easiest to be happy and we can choose to look for a life realization in a dramatic event, or we can learn to seek out the warmth of joy in the bleakest moments and we can seek out life changing realizations in those seemingly routine events that occur regularly in life.

My year in Senegal is far from over, but it is clear that so far my time here has been nothing but life changing. The people I’ve met and the memories I’ve made here have completely altered the course my life is going to take. Who knows what else life has in store for me.

Jose Duran Jr