If I had to draw a picture to describe my whole time in the village, it’d be a hill. I won’t lie, the 3rd week was torture. Okay, that might’ve been an exaggeration but it almost felt like torture. Looking back on it now, I really don’t know what exactly made that week seem so awful. I think I was just having a mid-village crisis.
My sister Mariama (15 yrs old) pounding millet – it’s so difficult!
The 3rd week was when all the excitement from the first two weeks of being in a new place died down. Basically, the fog cleared and then I realized I was in the middle of the forest for another three and a half more weeks. My animal encounters throughout this week (ants nest, scorpions, giant hornets, and etc.) in my bedroom hadn’t help either. But halfway through the 4th week, I felt cured! I was finally feeling like I was in the swing of things, going every morning to my poste de santé, eating lunch with the fam, sleeping/reading/writing/or playing with my little siblings in the afternoon, in the evening help fetch water from the well with my sisters, take a shower at 5:30pm before all the mosquitoes came out at 6pm, eat dinner and then end the day by hanging out with everyone and gazing at the starts till my eyes get droopy. I kid you not – this really was everyday life for me. Pretty simple right? It’s been nice to be in a routine, a comfortable routine, where I forget things like Facebook even exist. Or sadly, the fact that I’d be leaving soon.
My sister Koumba (17 yrs old) getting water from the well
I think about my week of ‘weakness’ and feel embarrassed to admit that I was ready to call it quits and make up some sad excuse to go back to the city. I realize, what do I honestly have to complain about? My family, my lovely family, does this every single day. Without complaint. Granted, they don’t have the same American experiences to compare something to – but that really doesn’t make a difference. I realize I need to suck up whatever happens these next couple of weeks, cause my time in the village is coming to a close.
We all (including me) helped out watering the garden of mini eggplants that’re sold at the weekend local market
Although I feel like I haven’t really made a difference or done anything much at my poste de santé and village, I’ve observed and had a lot of time to reflect. I’ve a learned a lot about myself, I’ve learned about what development looks like in Senegal, I’ve learned about the country’s medical system, and I’ve learned about Senegalese village life, the culture and more importantly, the people.