I am alive!

Fernanda Savaris Nunes - Senegal

February 2, 2017


I know I haven’t written as many blog posts as I said I would. In fact, I know I haven’t written any since that short introduction about why I am here.

The truth is that, for months, I forgot why I was here.

Fortunately, days come and go, smiles close to open again, and dark clouds disappear to never come back. Apparently I have been here for 165 days now, and only have about 60 more to stay. As a promise to myself, I decided to write a blog post a week, until the end of my journey, but for that, I thought it was worth giving you a bit of a background on my life here.

I live in Tivaouane, a 55,000 people city that is home for the Tijani Muslim Brotherhood. My host family is huge, but only a small part of them live at home, and these are: my twin sisters, Adama and Awa Cheikh, who are 17; my hilarious and dear mom, Mame Diouma; and my little brother Modou, who is 11.

I am an English teacher in the local high school and English club. My classes have from 40 to 80 students and, despite all the difficulties, I have discovered a deep passion in teaching that I never thought would exist.

I am also an apprentice of tailoring, which, considering my teacher’s oddness, is one of the oddest things I have done in life.

My normal routine consists of waking up by children’s noises in the street by my room, making breakfast (breakfast <3) for my whole family, going to one of my apprenticeships, eating ceebujeen (the most common Senegalese dish – rice and fish), taking a siesta (as a good latina), reading books, meditating, taking a cold shower, dinner, watching the stars from my rooftop and finally going to bed.

Things I love about Senegal:
My host family, my supervisor, my GCY friendships (who certainly changed my life), THE NIGHTSKY, spirituality, food, juices, cafĂ© touba, people’s friendliness, colourful clothes, peanuts and cold showers.

Things that still bother me:
Gender inequality, bugs, being called tubab (word for white person) 24/7, being ripped off, the lack of blankets on cold nights, being called tubab 24/7 and daily cold showers.

I will write my next blog post soon (I promise) and… yeah, stay tuned 🙂

Fernanda Savaris Nunes