You Know You are in Senegal When

Drew Erickson - Senegal


September 10, 2019

You know you are in Senegal when…


when “bug spray, sunscreen, malaria pill” becomes the most important part of your morning routine


when you drift off to sleep to the sound of goats just outside your window


when any and every conversation begins with a friendly “asalaa maalekum”


when the power goes out almost… routinely 


when you wake up sweating. get out of the shower sweating. and go to sleep— well you guessed it—- sweating.


This can’t be all there is to Senegal, can it? No way.


You know you are in Senegal when…


when the streets are lined with the vibrant colors of green, yellow, and red


when Islam and Christianity coexist so very peacefully


when the call to prayer shouting through the streets reminds everyone to slow down just a bit and take the time to pray


when the wonderful aroma of Attaya blooms in every social space 


when the children laugh loud enough for the neighbors to hear at the simple game of “fii la nekk”


when you wake up under glowing sunrises and fall asleep under a sky encapsulated by stars


when the simplest hello’s and goodbye’s are the sweetest


when the closeness of the community screams home even when you do not share a language


when you already know, you already feel, already anticipate… that even though it is a long seven months away, this is going to be the hardest goodbye of your life. That is how you know you are in Senegal. 

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Drew Erickson