As I leave this place, my feelings are pretty mixed.
Senegal’s done so much for me. Living in Africa has been a really eye-opening experience and has led me down so many cool paths. Lending to the Senegalese through Zidisha has allowed me to see a side of their culture I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Also, having just finished the 17th grade (yeah, college took me five years), it felt pretty good to be doing practical work, that I truly believed in, outside of the classroom that helps people.
Working for Zidisha was a blast. It was really cool to be a part of such a small operation getting off the ground, doing good work. Julia, my boss and the founder of the organization, was always there to help keep me on track, but gave me tons of liberty to do the job as I wanted. It was clear that she trusts me and takes my opinions seriously, which really helped me feel like it was my project, too. She’s done a fantastic job with the whole thing; I’m really happy to have found her.
I’ve become really close with my African host family. They’re wonderful people who have really accepted and treated me like one of their own.
Thanks to everyone who read this, my first blogging experiment. It meant a lot to me. I didn’t want to do it at first, for a few reasons, but I’m glad I did. It was fun to everybody what I was doing out here.
I’m beyond excited to come home. This is a pretty pivotal summer in my life – having just finished college and preparing to move out west to start my first long term job – so I want to spend the rest of it seeing my friends and family. I’ll definitely have a whole new appreciation for the simple things like reliable electricity and running water in the morning.
I can’t wait to get back to home to see my friends in Barrington and Urbana. I want to listen to Neil Young and have a barbeque. Turn on all my pedals and play my guitar really loud. I can’t wait to see my brother Billy. And my mom. I can’t wait to go to the Canopy Club and watch Santah play to a packed room and kill it.
I want to swim across Icehouse Pond with my dad. And take Boomer for a walk. I also really need a haircut.