Love Letter to Sénégal

Aubrey Haddard - Senegal

March 12, 2012

Sama Xol

My Heart,


My life has finally reached a point of normalcy and I have to give it up?

This is my home now, mon deuxième pays, my second country, my loving family, my students, my hard work, my joy, my dances, my baptisms, my disappointments, my surprises, my rice, my millet, my laundry buckets, my turkish toilets, my dancing baby goats, my café cups and bags of peanuts, my grapefruits and mangoes, my fruit stand lady, my woven plastic mats, my holidays, my trials and errors.

You are my everything now, my world.

This is where I grew up.

And I may not have a childhood here but I have enough children to make up for one.

This is where I learned to love.

This is where I learned to forget my inhibitions, let myself go. Embrace the new things around me and cherish the old.

This is where you never go unnoticed.

Where people want to feed you, clothe you, see you.


My gifts to you are insufficient.

You have given me the gift of sight, reflection.

You have been my best friend, my enemy, my idol, my love affair.

You have shown me things I didn’t know about myself.

You have taught me what I need and what I want.

How to live.

You have kicked me when I was down, and been there to hold me. To comb my hair and whisper Ku Muun Munn, the one who is patient smiles.

And have you ever been wrong?


But we have to move on.

I could never thank you enough for everything you’ve shown me, taught me, given me. I will try to put it all to good use. I won’t forget you, please don’t forget me.


I will come to find you again someday.



Aubrey Haddard