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What To Expect When You're Expecting Your Senegalese Student

Howdy Families,
Here are some things you should know:

When I get home I will want to sleep. And watch TV (though I’m already caught up on Rosario). And then sleep more.

And then watch all the movies from the list Claire gave me, which may take the rest of my gap yuh.

To me, 75 degrees is cold. I did not pack for December in a temperate zone, so please bring blankets, hot chocolate and snow boots to the airport (Megan wants Tim Horton’s and Elise’s shoes are in her closet).

When I follow ‘See you in the morning’ with ‘Inshallah’, I’m not plotting to run away, I’m just not assuming anything.

Plan to get up five minutes earlier so we can greet appropriately. I can’t start my day without knowing you slept in peace.

I will expect my younger siblings to make a slight bow when in my presence.

Don’t feed me rice for the first week (except Alexis wants jasmine rice bes bu nekk).

I will respond to ‘toubab’, hissing or any of my three Senegalese names better than to my own.

Please leave space in the day for my four hour attaya sessions. The third service is the best.

If you hear weird splashing from the bathroom, it’s just me taking a refreshing bucket shower.

I don’t have Ebola. Neither does anyone else in Senegal.

If you see me downing sugary porridge, accept it. I’m working on my jayfonde shape.

Alice has sworn off all material possessions but requests a new wardrobe, a facial and a mani pedi ASAP.

When you hear ‘Ana sama yaay?’ shouted in the airport, I’m talking to you, mom.

I may speak a strange combination of languages, commonly known as Frolaarf (French, Pulaar, Wolof).

Just a head’s up, Anna-Karin’s hair looks different now.

Megan will only drink her beverages from a plastic bag or a clean gasoline tank.

Don’t freak out when I use my sheets to set up a tangana outside our house.

Are my face and feet tanned or just dirty? To be determined.

Guard your towel at all times. Daniel’s been taking the sharing culture a little too seriously.

Sorry for spending too much money in Dakar. I was told ‘c’est pas cher’.

Get ready to welcome home my Senegalese spouse. I could only say deeeeedet so many times.

We’re all very excited to see you, and a cheeseburger (except Natalie, who never wants to see meat again).

Ba ci kanam,
Senegal 2014