Things in Boussoura That Make Me Happy

Caroline Blanchard - Senegal

January 25, 2013

–       When my baby sister screams my name

–       When my host dad calls me his daughter

–       When people in my village, or random people I have never met before, tell me I know how to speak Pulaar (real mood boaster)

–       When my brother dances just to make me laugh

–       Literally sitting and doing nothing, but doing it surrounded by people

–       Watering the garden

–       When people in the village call our baby cow by his “American name,” Jeffery

–       Shaking hands with everyone!

–       When my little sister looks at a picture of my family and knows them all by name

–       When my cousin calls me lengee (a fish), because apparently I drink an absurd amount of water

–       People being impressed with my ability to wash clothes, cook, dance, make tea… really anytime I get a compliment, I take it

–       When I am able to dish out the jokes instead of being the butt of jokes

–       Being the butt of jokes…sometimes

–       Bucket showers, they are surprisingly great

–       When I realized that now it’s not as strange that I am the only white person in most situations, but the fact that I am the only girl most situations

–       My homeboys, the clan of 15-19 year old boys, who have adopted me as somewhat of a sister and friend

–       Roasted corn

–       Roasted peanuts

–       The days when I can just read Harry Potter for hours

–       The fact that am so much more comfortable here than I am for a day in the next village over

–       The fact that I have friends

–       When I get hugs, rare but wonderful occurrences

–       When my dad chases my homeboys around with a knife when they are pissing me off

–       When my family tells other Senegalese people to call me by my name instead of calling me toubako (white person/foreigner)

–       Their smiles

–       How incredibly bright the moon and stars look at night

–       When I can make people laugh, not by saying something wrong, but by saying something witty

–       Going without internet

–       Word spreads fast, so when I’m sick people come to check on me

–       When my older brothers call me, even though I can’t understand a damn thing they say

–       That I spend 98% of my awake hours outside

–       The fact that Boussoura feels like home to me now

–       That I am so happy in Boussoura

Caroline Blanchard