I spent the spring semester of my junior year of college in Senegal. I stayed with a Senegalese host family and went to school at the University of Dakar and the Baobab Center, an international school run by both Americans and Senegalese. I studied History, Sociology, French, and Wolof, the most common language spoken in Dakar.

The baby in the first two pictures is Momo (short for Mohammed), the son of one of my host brothers’ sisters (neither of whom lived with us). On the left is Chifa, my host brother, and in the middle is Seyni, his sister and Momo’s aunt. On the right is Mama, who lived with us for a while, and baby Awa, who cried non-stop when she saw me; I was the first tubaab she’d ever seen. Mama was so shy that the maids called her “Muma” (mute) for short.

A few pictures with me... the picture on the left is of us all slaughtering a sheep for the holiday called Tabaski. That’s (real) brother Jeff in that one.

These two are from a trip I took with Sam, an American friend, to a region in Mali, the country bordering Senegal to the east, where the Dogon people live. They still live in villages pretty similar to the way they have for centuries. That’s probably largely due to the fact that they make their money from tourism. We saw a TV antenna coming from one of the huts, and our tour guide said the chief was going to make them take it down because tourists wouldn’t want to see something like that.

The wonderful, hilarious, attitude-laden children who lived on our block. I adored these kids.

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