The Little Marta (my first blog)

Marta Shcharbakova - Senegal


August 24, 2018

Once, there was a girl. A girl with brown eyes and brown hair called Marta. Of course, the girl knew a bit more than nothing about the world, so she often used a word ‘little’ to describe herself. ‘Little’ was about her overall knowledge, the significance of her existence, however, it didn’t apply to her self-awareness. But did this all matter much?

You see, what mattered was that the girl very ordinary got involved in an extraordinary story. And not unwillingly. 


In order to become a better version of herself (in other words become a bigger), little Marta decided to join Global Citizen Year, and experience something she has never known before: living in Senegal for 8 months. So, without knowing a single word in the local language (Wolof), Marta has packed her stuff and got all the vaccines done. As she picked up her backpack, she understood that she hasn’t figured out any goals for the months ahead. She dropped the bags. While sitting at the kitchen table, with her hands shaking, she scratched something on a piece of paper:

  • Improve the skills that you think are important to you: painting, sketching, photography. 
  • Learn the two local languages, explore the culture and learn everything you can about Senegal
  • Learn to appreciate the moments, that are considered to be unpleasant: loneliness, pain and sadness. These are the teachers for your spirit. 
  • Learn to appreciate temporary relationships. People exchange knowledge all the time, it’s okay if the friendship doesn’t last, but BE in the moment when it’s at its best
  • Read what is interesting and educating, and don’t let go of the knowledge. Try to absorb and process it, don’t let your time go to waste.
  • Learn wisdom from the Senegalese people and stay open-minded
  • Take the risk if it’s worth it. Trust your own judgement
  • Expand your limits
  • Don’t take your gap year too seriously. You won’t be able to live your whole life in one year, so 
  • Learn patience and train you spirit
  • Try to reach the maximum potential, but fall in love with your imperfections 

Marta Shcharbakova