1. I was so excited to go to Senegal, but I was scared too.
2. On my first walk around the hotel neighborhood in Dakar an hour after the plane landed, I seriously wondered if I could live here for a month. The fish guts at the market may have contributed to that feeling.
3. A few days into the trip, I wandered through the HLM market in a small group and I felt completely at ease. I loved Senegal and I knew it would be a great experience.
4. I totally thought I would have no problem staying in the small village of Ndondol because I grew up in the country. The small town/country upbringing helped, but not nearly as much as I thought.
5. I loved giving directions to my village home by saying "walk down the path and when you get to the big baobab tree, turn left and go in the gate."
6. I have never felt like so much of an outsider before. It was so hard, but such an enriching experience.
7. I now have a network of French educator and college student (les bébés!) friends who I met and bonded with on the trip. They are amazing!
8. I hate malaria medicine. Honestly, if malaria didn't frighten me, I would have stopped taking the stuff.
9. The people of Senegal are some of the kindest people you will ever meet. I may have been a "toubab", but they treated me like a member of their families.
10. Enough time has passed that I actually want to eat fish and rice again.
11. I miss Senegal - the people, the food, the beautiful country,...
11. Not enough people know how amazing Senegal is, and they really need to know.