Pictures from Senegal

Tuesday, July 26

Out of Africa

Leaving wasn’t quite like when I left America two years ago; it was more of an emotional twist. It hurts more to say “I hope to see you again someday.” Someday?
I’m still grasping that indeterminable destination somewhere in the future. No final event was more special than the one I celebrated on my birthday. The day before I left, it rained and nearly prevented me from visiting all my friends around town. And shamefully a part of me was grateful for the excuse. I hate goodbyes, but I admit I’m not alone. No one but a schmuck would actually like them. So the idea of debilitating thunderstorms was perfect. And thirty minutes later, just as I was starting to feel guilty about liking the excuse it stopped and I was back in the throes of my au revoirs.

The next day my parents drove me to Dakar early in the day with my four youngest bothers. The ride was quiet until we arrived at the Peace Corps house when my tears wouldn’t stop. When Saliou asked what was wrong with me, and they explained he may not see me for a very long time and that he could not go with me, he also started crying. Luckily, there wasn’t a single volunteer at the house to witness my ridiculousness. And the guard and maid were very sweet, even touched by my affection for my Senegalese family. And then my best friends walked in and distracted me with thoughts of saying our final goodbyes to Dakar- the city representing two years of “getting away from it all.”

Next up was hitting up my favorite eateries and spending quality time with people closest too me at this moment in my life. These are the people that understand me when a sentence is filled with three languages or when I blow up at the whole world over one simple thing. They are next to me when I see the sites of Senegal and are my first thought after success- no matter the size or importance. My friends. I will miss them too, but I didn’t really have to say goodbye. I will see them again soon.

At the airport my flight was an hour late to board. Next to me, the flight to Casablanca left 20 minutes early. Only in Africa. Which got me thinking; there are so many things that only happen in Africa (to the best of my mildly worldly knowledge), but I’ll save the reminiscing for another day. Once boarded, I waved goodbye to Senegal and Africa. I’m off to Europe; Alys Out of Africa.