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Darwin Lopez - Senegal


March 17, 2017

3 Weeks 
I remeber when it was the first week of ICO in Dakar, I just wanted to go pack my bags and catch the next flight home. I wasnt sure that I had made the right decision on taking this gap year program with having my host family and I getting robbed on the first night. I remeber during immersion week, I had to sleep on the floor with just a foam bed and no blankets which was fine since it was hot during the time. Also having to witness to waking up to mices hopping around just a few feet away from my face. I was having my doubts about whether or not I wanted to be here. I didnt expect much when coming here because I wanted to not to expect the unexpected. After coming across other challenges, I kept thinking about what I wanted to get out of this and why I'm here in senegal right now instead of being at college. A few months later, I came to realization that I just had at the end of the day I have control on what I want my day to be like and what I want to gain during my time left here. I told myself before the 2016 year ended that I was going to set up goals that I wanted to achieve before I return back home. 
1. Learn and pratice the language
2. Interact with my community 
3. Get enough sleep
4. try not to get sick often
5. if bored, theres always somthin to do
5. Have ALOT of patience
….. And Many More Goals 
As now I look back on my journey here in Senegal its been one hell of a blast! I have had my ups and downs but somehow I'm always thriving my way to the top. As I come to think about it I have 3 weeks left. I have 3 more saturdays to look foward to on market days in the village nearby. I have 3 more weeks to spend time with my awsome english tutor and have french class with him. I have 3 more weeks to bond with my host family and eat their delicous dinner meals. I got 3 weeks left with my english class students that I've taught since I got here. I have 3 more weeks left to feel the winds of senegal hitting my face whenever I put my face out the window. I have 3 more weeks left to buy souviniers and treats for myself to bring back home. Also I have 3 more weeks left to enjoy the beautfil night sky filled with shooting stars that I rarely could witness back in the city. I have 3 more weeks left to enjoy the tea gatherings with strangers and friends. I have 3 more weeeks left to play with my baby host sister who at first would cry whenever she saw me but now she always smiles n giggles when she see me. There are 3 weeks left for me to enjoy the last bit of what senegal has to offer me and its beautifl culture. Each day that passes by feels like a countdown celebration for me going back home, however it also a day less of living in a place that I have gotten so fond of. When the final day comes of my stay here in senegal I will be grateful for all that I've experinced and learned during my wonderful time here… In the begining of my gap year I didnt what I was doing here and why, however now I can say proudly that I found what I was trying to look for here and I'm happy that I went through this journey and finished through in the end. And with that I say THANK YOU..

Darwin Lopez