In my Dakar host family there is a one year old boy named Mohamed. Mohamed is adorable, funny, energetic and is still trying to figure out this world he lives in just like I am. When he speaks he is just kind of making guttural noises and my host mom says that nobody can understand what he is saying, but I get it because I’m the same way. When I am speaking french I’m sure it comes out more as Mohammed like guttural noises rather than actual french, but it’s refreshing. I haven’t been this out of my comfort zone since I was a real baby most likely. Whenever I travel I have either my family or other students by my side at all times so I never really have to fend for myself. It’s amazing to be in place where I here, see, and eat something new everyday, but whats even more amazing is that eventually these things will become normal to me, just like they will to Mohammed. We will both speak the language so that people actually understand us and be able to eat ourselves without getting food all over us (eating with your hands is a lot harder than it looks).
What inspires me most about Mohammed is his curiosity. Today Mohammed and I were playing with bubbles and he was looking at them and chasing them with so much curiosity, that child like curiosity that can be so hard to find in adults. It’s the type of curiosity that I want to have this year. It’s the type of curiosity that will tell me to “say yes” and make the most out of every experience this year. He looked at the bubbles with such wonder and amazement and I was surprised that I was jealous of a baby. I was jealous that he got to see bubbles for the first time. In our lives we get comfortable and things that should be amazing to us go un noticed, but this year that changes for me. I will get to see and experience new things all the time and hopefully I can look at them the way that Mohammed looked at the bubbles. I just hope that even in month six that I am still looking around at my amazing surroundings with wonder even though I have become more comfortable with them.
So, I am Mohammed, I am a baby. I still don’t really know how to walk in this new place yet and when people are talking around me I don’t really know what they are saying, but just like Mohammed I will learn and grow and find where I belong in this new world.