One Week Down…

Emily Hanna - Senegal

September 8, 2011

I wanted to wait until I’d been in Senegal for a week before writing my first blog post, and I’m happy I did. Leafing through my journal entries from my first few days in Dakar, it is striking how a seemingly simple change of location ( U.S.A to Senegal) totally threw me for a loop. Those entries from a week ago are peppered with words like “incredible” and “amazing” and “beautiful,” of course, but they also prominently feature the tripley-threatening combination of doubt, fear, and uncertainty.

But I’m a week in now, and at last I feel as if I’ve got my bearings. I have a routine (wake up, walk to class, learn, walk home, sleep, repeat), a semi-permanent home (with the wonderfully kind-hearted and toubab*-friendly Faye family), and real knowledge about the city and the culture under my belt. There are still so many things that I don’t know, of course – I really should fine out when laundry day is – but, a week after Dakar accepted me, I’ve finally accepted Dakar. It feels so nice to be home.


*Toubab: Senegalese word for a white, Western person.

Emily Hanna