Journal Entries: Before and After

Hailey Thomas-Turner - Senegal


May 31, 2019

Journal Entries: Before and After

August 26th 2018 7:30 pm Stanford, California

I have been here a total of eight hours, and I am ready to turn back home. The people here are inspiring, intelligent, and intriguing, and I do not feel that I match their caliber. However, I continue to smile and give the allusion that I too am smart, inspiring and intriguing. I miss Ryan and mommy terribly. I never imagined this to be so difficult, especially this early on. I feel like I have been ripped from my mundane life and placed in a foreign territory. Surprisingly, I miss the messy, trashy place that called home for the past 18 years. I have a terrible feeling that my old life has ceased, and I am now beginning to forge a new path. However,  I will press on to complete this program, as I had fully intended to do in the first place.

September 9th 2018 2:22 pm Taiba Ndiaye, Senegal

What did I do to deserve this? How can I go from wanting to quit everything at one moment to being in love at the other? My first week in Senegal was absolutely positively dreadful! I spent a WHOLE DAY crying. Maybe it was because I secretly longed for some familiarity. Maybe it was because no one truly like me (although they all seemed to make a habit of smiling in my face and voting me as the person that “doesn’t realize their full potential”). Whatever it was, I am just glad that it’s gone. I have truly been blessed. The only thing I wished for was a nice family with a nice home: and, thats is exactly what I got. My Yaay is so sweet, and my Baay is so cunning. They made me feel like a princess. I have a beautiful room in a beautiful home with beautiful people. Everything is going so smoothly that I am afraid I will jinx myself. I just had to express how grateful I am. Thank you Jesus.

Recap: May 30th, 2019 Bowling Green, KY

I could not help but to laugh when reading back over these two journal entries. I picked these two journal entries because I was astounded at the change in myself after only a couple of weeks. Reminiscing over those past times allowed to truly see how much I’ve grown. The saying “confidence is key” glares in my mind right now. My confidence level was very low when I started GCY back in August, and sadly those feeling of inadequacy continued throughout the rest of my gap year. However, I am glad that they did. I am now a stronger person because of all the hardships that I faced during my gap year. I know myself better. I am more curious about what makes me and how I can better become myself.

Hailey Thomas-Turner