I appreciate taking part of the experiences that people share through blog posts.
To understand something given through the perspective of the writer, and to feel present with the writer. Yet I have been apprehensive about sharing my own experience here in Senegal.
Giving friends and family a few juicy snippets through occasional blog posts seemed appealing when I pleaded for blog followers over a Facebook status. However, once I was actually in Senegal my intentions of sharing became distant thoughts.
During my early morning labor in the peanut fields the Internet is out of reach, and so is my will to share my experience. I won’t lie; my desire to share my experiences to does not hit the roof even when the Wi-Fi signal does. Internet cafes won’t do the job.
It is not a lack of enthusiasm that sparked this reluctance, rather a pleasant distance I enjoyed not breaking. Senegal has given me a lot, but a private life is lacking. But I do find privacy in the distance I have been able to create. Distance from the world outside my little cocoon here in Tivaouane, Senegal. It has become a personal experience, which has proven to be difficult to translate across the distance to the ones outside it.
The idea of gap year students taking time off is a cliché I dread perpetuating, but still, there is value in going through an experience without having to share it with any one other the ones who are it in. The experience of living in Senegal has become come private and so difficult to share because I am also trying to develop my own understand it before sharing it with others. It is a tedious process and five months in and I still stagger around with my broken Wolof trying to make sense out of the confusion.
But maybe by attempting to create a personal experience that I was reluctant to share, I end up just being and observer without putting enough effort into processing what I saw. Because it is scary how quickly we adapt to the strange things we experience and turn them into normality. And while the life I live in Senegal is normal it is still unique to my background, this is something I often forget with the distance I have created to those who are apart of my background. Maybe the best way to process my own experience is to make it less personal and private, but rather share it, even with the ones who cannot necessarily relate to it. But then again there is a pleasant distance created in not sharing something — and I have yet to decide if I want to break it.