First Week Joys and Challenges

Olivia Fiscal - Senegal


September 15, 2019

Wow! Its been 3 weeks since I left the U.S., 2 weeks since I left California and 1 week of living with my host family. There is so much to talk about but I will give you an insight on what has been good for me so far and what has not been so good in Senegal.

What i've enjoyed in Senegal

  • The teranga (hospitality)

  • My family (especially my brother who take me everywhere)

  • My fan (because it's soooo hot)

  • Playing soccer 

  • The food

  • Eating around a big bowl

  • People knowing my name almost everywhere i go because im a tubaab (foreigner)

  • My host mom giving me makeovers

  • Walking around the market

  • Finally understanding a few words

  • Getting to see my other fellows

  • Our new baby sheep

What has been hard for me in Senegal

  • Missing my home and family in the U.S.

  • Constantly feeling dirty

  • The flies that are everywhere and I mean everywhere

  • Eating fish everyday

  • People not having them same sense of privacy and personal space

  • Not understanding what people are saying to me

  • People getting annoyed, frustrated or laughing at me when I don't understand what they're saying

  • Squat toilet

  • The power going out 

  • The heat + no air conditioning

  • Being tired from all of the above

I've had so many ups and downs and it has only been a week since i got dropped off with family. I still have 7 more months ahead of me and want to make the most of that time. I know that it will be a while till I feel comfortable but i am so determined to learn wolof and some french, to know my way around town, to maybe get better at soccer, to learn to dance, to explore senegal, learn more of the culture and religion, and finally one day feel like I have a home here. 




Olivia Fiscal