Never before has two weeks felt like two months. The days whip by but I can only feel like I've been here much longer than 15 days. Never before have I had so much to drink in, to absorb… Not even in those last 2 weeks leading up to IB exams. I have learned so much, and I'm still a child in this land. I can't speak for myself except for the little French I've come to comprehend, however Wolof is totally alien and yet strangely and comfortingly familiar to me. The sounds remind me of Arabic. That is small solace in this foreign land. There have been moments of awe, wonder, shock, normalcy, and hilarity. But this stretch of time I have been here, as meager as it is, has been amazing. I have seen so much of Dakar. Heard the music, both modern and traditional, seen the monuments, walked the roads, met some of the kindest, honest, and good people of my life here. I cannot remember the last time I was as happy, relaxed, and carefree for such a long time. This is truly a new experience. I am remembering what it is to be free of myself. Free of school, free of the expectations of my peers. Free of so many things. Free to be myself. I am stretching my wings here, which have been tied for so long, clipped to keep me from flying when I needed to remain on the ground. This place has allowed me to remember myself. And I am happy here. I am nervous for the challenges to come, but I look forward to them with anticipation of new experiences and new adventures. We will see what this amazing land can offer me, and what I can learn from it, and maybe what I can give back, if anything. As they say in Wolof (Mr. Mattox would kill me for butchering this) Inshaallah.

Peace be with you my friends.