It’s August and three years ago (not the exact day) we landed in Dakar to start our adventure here. The first night was horrible and I wanted so badly to not be here but three years later I am thankful for what I’ve learned about myself and what it has taught me.
Dependence- going to a place where you don’t speak the language has a way of making you dependent. As an MK, I prided myself on being independent and having to do things on my own. Can’t do that so much anymore, but being dependent on others creates a community like Dakar Academy. I also learned to appreciate my husband and the wonderful way he takes care of me.
Independence- Wait what? I thought you were dependent. I am but I have learned that maybe too much. No language is a very effective excuse, one that I used a lot , but at some point I realized I could take a taxi and go to the grocery store (I would still rather go with Trav but it’s a step).
Heat makes me a horrible person- I am pretty sure my kids are well behaved in class for the most part because I’m so scary during hot season. A little dramatic but true. Hot season makes me a not as pleasant person, which our AC in the bedroom has helped! But nobody should have to sweat just because they are brushing their teeth. Thank goodness after three years it seems to be having a tad (really tad) bit less of an effect on me.
Greetings– in Ecuador greetings are important, but they feel even more important here. They are a way of giving people dignity by acknowledging them and saying yes I notice you.
Go with the flow- I will always be learning this one and everyone living overseas has to because our flow is different then theirs. Not wrong but different. Learning to go with the flow takes letting go of preconceived ways of doing things and not letting it upset you (good luck with that!)
I would not be a safe driver here- I love driving in the States. Turn on my radio and cruise down the highway, here not so much. I am pretty sure there would be accidents and lots and lots of anger.
I am actually tougher then I thought- Honestly, moving to Africa was terrifying. I (and my parents) weren’t sure how I would do. We didn’t know if I would be able to survive (heat, smells, etc…). I survived and signed up for two additional years. Who knew??? Travis was a huge part of that and unexpected visits to see family helped too!
Blessed- I am blessed, so incredibly blessed. Blessed to be doing what I love. Blessed to be surrounded by great people. Blessed to have been here three years.