Jamm Rekk :)

Shakhi Begum - Senegal


October 10, 2013

Oh my god! The mangoes here are so good and really sweet. Same goes for almost all the people I have met so far. Other than the plane so close to the ground that it seems the airport is right in the kitchen, it’s ‘jamm rekk’, meaning ‘peace only’ in Wolof

It’s been over a month and I still cannot believe that I am in Senegal. In the beginning, who would have thought that I would be in Senegal, that I wouldn’t be attending college this year. It’s all destiny, and I am here. Here in Senegal, with a feeling I can’t explain but it’s a great one! I never thought I would learn how to laugh all over again, how to just be me.

I am spending my time here, not thinking about how I look or who I should please, by taking everything around me: the nature, culture, food, and especially the people of Senegal. My family, who did not know anything about me, took me into their house and treated me like as if I was a part of their own family. My host mom does not call me by my name, she calls me saying ma fille (French) or sama doom (Wolof), both meaning my daugher 😀

But it’s certainly difficult to communicate with my host family and getting used to being uncomfortable, especially when you are in a situation where you don’t know the people as well as the language. And it is totally fine. Because this is why I am here! I signed up for this program in order to face this challenge, to know about myself and a culture that is totally different from my own.

It’s also crazy to me that I can understand half of the things my mom says to me in French or Wolof. Integration is really the key in learning a language and understanding it’s culture.

Shakhi Begum