Things really do change a lot in life. Case in point: it looks that instead of spending a month at Touba Diallo and then a week in Paris/London, I am going straight for the USA...in four days. There are a lot of factors to this change such as my mother's many difficulties with getting used to Dakar combined with extreme homesickness from the both of us. My only complaint is that I won't be able to go to Paris or London, but it's a small complaint. The more I think about it, the more I'm looking forward to leaving. There is a lot that I miss from the US,and a lot of business that needs to be done there as well. I look forward to returning despite all of the interesting aspects of Senegal that I will probably miss...
but frankly, there isn't a lot.
Dakar really hasn't meshed with the middle class American sensibilities of my mother and I. Part of it has to do with us being foreigners and people dealing with us as foreigners no matter how much we interact.They expect us to have a lot of money and love going to the tourist hotspots where we can spend double the price of what we'd pay in the US.Otherwise, it seems, they'd rather we not be there, especially if we turn out to have nothing to give. It's really. put us off to interacting with the people we have interacted with.
I have tried to keep an open mind about Senegal, but the truth is that I haven't really had a fun time here. Sure there were nice places, but they are few and far apart that I ended up getting bored of the same thing.There is no culture of picking up garbage or at least keeping them in trash cans, so there is a lot of garbage on the streets despite there being people who clean it up occasionally. It's not really a pleasant experience to walk anywhere or take a taxi someplace or ride in a car, so all there really is to do is be home. I have spent the end of my stay here searching for more things to do online than in Dakar because whatever there is to do that can be done has been done at another place and wasn't very fulfilling in the first place or was too expensive.
And, most of all, I am homesick. I miss what I'm used to seeing and used to things working. I don't want to haggle or try and communicate in French or say "no" all the time to people who want money that I can't give for things I don't want.I miss all of the brand-name goods that I now know are really cheap and wonderful and sturdy in the US. I miss things being done quickly and saying "thank you" all the time and having it be expected.I miss seeing different kinds of people and different kind of food(In Dakar, most meals are some variation of rice with meat and some sort of sauce. The main "foreign" food is French). I miss running water and Chinese food delivered and being cold.I miss being rich, comparatively, in America.
So I'm leaving soon, and I'm sure I'll be talking about this trip for years, but I will be glad that I am home.