Sunday, April 15, 2012


Its springtime in Michigan! I made it safely home, after sprinting through the DC airport to make my connecting flight. Some guy was running for the same plane, and as he passed me I shouted after him, "it's not fair, you have real shoes on and Im wearing plastic flip flops!" He alerted them to my imminent arrival, and I was able to hop on the plane right before they pulled up the stairwell.

I was surprised by Nana meeting me at the Detroit airport! Where I immediately bought spicy chicken tenders and some kind of chemical-filled chocolatey peppermint whipped cream concoction, parading itself as a coffee (yum). We then went out for a family dinner at Max and Erma's before ending the evening with a heated game of Settlers of Catan and banana Cream Pie.

This morning, I woke up in the most comfortable bed ever, went to church with my family, and then we all went out to a breakfast buffet. I really wanted to put the vegetable cream cheese on my bagel, but the bagel turned out to be cinnamon raisin, so I made a sandwich out of toast, veggie cream cheese, eggs, and bacon. I wrapped the bagel in tissue and stuffed it into my purse for lack of any better idea. I couldnt just leave it. Anyways, after getting home and playing yet another game of Settlers, my stepmom and I went to get pedicures and manicures. We then went to the mall where I got a pair of flip flops that I instantly traded in for my terrible falling-apart senegalese flip flops bought at a garage. I decided to go for an evening run and only made it about 20 minutes before accepting the fact that I have lost all muscle mass and will have to work back into this whole "being healthy again" thing. Walking home in the evening, after an afternoon rain was wonderful. I forgot how beautiful and green it is here, with the bright pink cherry blossoms and apple blossoms covered in butterflies. Even the smell made me want to smile like a maniac walking down the side of the road.

I could be sentimental and say I miss Senegal...but, for now, thats not true. Im so relieved and happy to be back. I do still feel the urge to shout "Assalam malekoum!" when I walk into a room, though (such as the mani/pedi salon), and did keep checking over my shoulder for oncoming charettes while running. But, for now, Im going to watch TV, eat roasted chicken, have a martini, and bask in the glory that is America.

While Nana is here, I get to be on vacation, too. But, starting Wednesday, I need to at least start attending to the following things to get my life back in some kind of order. Like getting new glasses since mine mysteriously disappeared : P Luckily, I already know Im headed to grad school in the fall, so no pressure this summer :-) Summer of fun, 2012, here we go!

Very important life things I need to get in order before im allowed to do fun things:
get glasses, contacts, a credit card, access to my bank account, renew my drivers license, buy clothes that are wear-able in public, get a computer and a hard drive, buy a phone, get a phone number and calling plan, and basically just try to become a functioning member of society.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Well, Im done! Going to the airport in a few hours. Ill write a final blog post when I get home. For now, I cant even begin to process everything. I cant believe its been two years, I cant believe I have to say goodbye to this country that has become my home, that I may never again see the family that has taken me in and accepted me as their daughter for the past two years. Coming home means giving up a language and an entire way of life. Im so relieved to be going home, but am also scared. My identity has been as a "Peace Corps Volunteer," for the past two years. This has been such an intense experience and has become a large part of who I am. Ive made so many amazing friends and have had wonderful experiences. Ive also dealt with the daily frustration of being a young woman in a male dominated muslim country. For now, all I can think about is the food I want to eat back in America. Beyond's probably going to be really hard adjusting to life in the US. So, Im making plans, and will put them up here before ending the blog.

To kick off my last evening here, one of my good friends and I went up to the roof of the office (5 stories high with a view of the ocean) and shot the cork off of a champagne bottle and cheers'ed to two of the most amazing years of our lives. Thank you, Senegal, for everything : )

While Ive been here, Senegal has seemed like an entire world away, and has been such an intense experience. I cant wrap my mind around the fact that once I get on that 8 hours Ill be right back in the house where I spent my middle school and high school years. It feels like two separate worlds are about to collide, and Im not sure if Im ready for that. Ive missed my family so much, though, and I just cant wait to see everyone's faces waiting for me at the airport in Detroit. I remember coming home from Switzerland after a year abroad my junior year, and feeling overwhelmed with happiness and sadness at the same time. I cant even begin to imagine what this homecoming is going to be like. I can easily picture myself crying with both happiness and sadness, perhaps kissing the ground, all while shoving a cinnabon in my face. Luckily, one of my favorite people in my group of volunteers is on the same flights with me to DC and then Detroit. Alhamdoulilahi.

See you on the flip side america. Jamm Soom.