It was in the long four months of my summer ’19, that I really began to SEE my city. And I was not ready to let it go.
“Wetin Dey” is Pidgin English for “How far?” or ” What’s up?” And honestly speaking it’s a question I never know how to reply to. Now more so than ever.
Arriving at SFO, I was not exactly the happiest person in Calfornia.
Having to leave my suitcase behind, due to lack of time, traveling through 2 completely different time zones and my lack of a good night’s sleep had me a bit annoyed.
My cohort and I had left our comfort zones at home, and we were not really sure what we would be doing for the next 8 months, apart from knowing we would be living in a host family. And my first worry was that they wouldn’t like me.
So you can see I did not go out the way I had planned.
But after a week on Stanford’s annoyingly huge campus, I felt a bit more comfortable, because I had found “Taranga”. (Wolof for “hospitality”)
I caught myself repeatedly flashing back to my UWC experience in China.
Despite my 2020 cohort being so different in cultures and backgrounds, we were bonding. On the amazing dining options, the packed schedule of our day to day, learning histories of how certain inequities came to be, and just generally discussing taboo topics in society, that we felt needed to be had. People were anxious about adapting to food In-country, scared of not having certain medications, regretting not going straight to college, and some people were just pushing through it all like power rangers with loud, memorable moments in order for the rest of us to feel more comfortable.
It made me feel less alone knowing that we were going through the same things. And just the development of safe spaces amongst each other made way for meaningful connections that we otherwise could not have had anywhere else. And I’m proud of myself for coming to this realization.
Lastly, as OdunsiTheEngine played in my JBL earphones, on my way to the airport for Senegal, I felt a bit lighter knowing that this experience could be my chance to press play. If I could not control my future, I would have to party till my last day.
If someone were to ask me,“Wetin Dey”?. For now, it would be “I’m okay”. If I let the music play for a while, before worrying that it would suck, I would not die. I had to listen first though.
To end all my blog posts, I’m gonna be cheesy and have a quote for the day.
One of the favorites that I picked up from one of my best Netflix shows, Bojack Horseman was, “It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day. That’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”