The Departure

My anticipation for travel has been
building up for months, then suddenly the date and time of departure
are staring me in the face, shouting “I'm here!”. And I stare
blankly back. “You're here? You look like tomorrow, but are you

But it must be true for I have a
schedule that says “2:30am Senegal Shuttle to SFO”. Pre-departure
training over the past week has been a wonderful limbo. My building
excitement over the summer to be a part of Global Citizen Year has
been assured, through conversations with great people and wonderful
lessons, that I have made the correct decision to join the cohort.
There were moments that felt like training would simply continue, but
I know the greater part of the year still awaits: I am a Senegal
fellow and I'm moving to Senegal tomorrow.

The week of pre-departure training has
been so impactful and jam-packed that I can't begin to imagine eight
months of new experiences whizzing at me. The idea of living in
Senegal still feels like a dream: amazing but without real clarity,
without any reality I understand. But that's good, because I have
joined Global Citizen Year to change my reality, to push my own
understanding of what reality means.

This year, I aim to expand my
understanding of humanity through personal interactions, to improve
on and learn new languages so that those interactions are as true and
open as possible, and to be a contributing member of my community and
family for my own growth and in gratitude for the family and
community that opens their door to me.