You Know You are in Senegal When

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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