Little Coast, Big Adventure

Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
Trip End Dec 15, 2006

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Flag of Senegal  ,
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I can't think of a better way to celebrate the end of our research period than to spend a few days relaxing and tanning on the beach, but this is Senegal, after all, so nothing is as simple and easy as it may seem.  Mbour, or the "Petite Cote", is an extremely small town, and we stayed in a campement of small huts with lofts as bedrooms with a frightening amount of mosquitoes.  Our relaxing hours on the beach were disrupted by the merchants trying to sell their goods in a forceful way and the sketchy Senegalese men who liked to sit down, chat, and stare at the toubabs.  Despite this, we were able to work on our tans and act like 7-year-olds playing in the ocean and collecting shells.

The purpose of going to Mbour was to create a place away from the hustle and bustle of the city to talk about re-entry... RE-ENTRY! What am I even re-entering!? I've been catching a lot of the other students (and myself as well) saying that they're excited to go back to the "real world" or saying that "in real life" they do things differently.  What IS the real world? Is the real world my home, my school, my friends and family that I left behind in the US, or does my world now extend further than that?  When I go back to my comfortable home in the winter weather of Pennsylvania, I don't think that it will feel much like the real world at all... I expect that my house, my university, even my friends and family will have changed and will seem as foreign to me as this country of Senegal once did.
Rooming with my friends Biz and Libby, we stayed up late every night talking amongst ourselves or with other students about how nervous/anxious/excited we were about going home so soon, but when the morning sun rose and the fishermen were going out to sea, all I could think about was how much I'm going to miss this beautiful country I've come to love...
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