Ndak ndank moy japp gole ci nay

Emily Collins - Senegal

October 10, 2012

It is all about the pace and patience. I am learning rather quickly how slow the pace of Senegalese culture is, and how important patience is. I can already hear my family at home laughing at the idea of me living in a world surrounded by patience. Always antsy and wondering what is next on the agenda, it has become a challenge to adapt to the slowly moving atmosphere. The only thing that seems to move at the speed of light are the conversations my family has in French or Wolof or Sereer, me nodding frequently trying to catch key words in their race to finish a sentence. But I am beginning to realize the beauty of moving slow. Catching in the extra hours of the day, and not worrying what is to come by night fall. The peace of patience teaches you to truly take in what is around you. I notice that each person meets on the street and sincerely wants to see how the other person is doing, how their family is doing, how their life is proceeding. Like the waves that crash outside my bedroom, they flow at a natural speed in no rush to hit the sand. It is teaching me to be here now. To learn as slowly as I need to and as fast as the opportunities come.

Ndak ndank moy japp gole ci nay: Slowly slowly, the monkey comes out of the country side. 

I am the monkey, moving at a gentler step, reaching its way around the tree and into the realization of the world. I am the monkey, striding away from a fast world of America into a society that is based around being in the moment with the people you are with. It is a funny thing, how simple the concept really is, and how much we have forgotten it over time. I am so fortunate to be here and to realize that it is not always about finishing the project, but rather learning what the lesson is within the project. Taking a step by step approach to the way we live can teach us more about gratitude and what the world has to offer than our minds could even begin to fathom. I am the monkey, ready to invert each message back into my soul and gravitate forward each day.

Emily Collins