As I approach this day, the monumental half-way point of my Global Citizen Year, I can’t help feeling like Keats’ Endymion, for though there are “many and many a verse I hope to write, I must be near the middle of my story.”
Senegal will be home for only three and a half more months; this is at once an exhilarating and terrifying realization. Looking back, new languages jumble with djembé music and blurs of once unfamiliar faces slide into focus. In the pages of my journal entries I see the sino-sotal curve of my up-and-down growth looped through the written version of my Senegalese life. Hands red with bissap cling to clinic days rent with cries from to-be-vaccinated children, bumping over sand dunes into Pulaar country, with the tangy film of buffalo milk coating my mouth. All that living seems to be mega-crammed into the super-speed-stuttered blips of a film in fast-forward.
My mind, wanting to keep up, slams into high gear: project planning, goal writing, lists, lists, lists. But that is simply not how I want to spend these months, or my life. I feel a bit of pressure to present some tangible, gift-wrapped evidence of my time in Senegal. While I hope to eventually have something to show for what I’ve “done” here, I can’t neatly box up the most important lesson I’ve learned in global citizenship: we are human be-ings, not human do-ings. Given that, it is my goal to live a bit more in slow-motion over the following months, absorbing as much as possible, knowing that it is enough to simply be here.
At this midway point, I can’t know the ultimate effects of my Global Citizen Year, but I am certain that right now I am exactly where I need to be.