Mic Check. [The End of My Blogging Hiatus.]

Packing an absurd amount of shampoo and coffee two days before I left.

Three days ago as I hugged my Mom, Dad, and Kellan goodbye at the Raleigh airport, I was blithely unaware that my Senegal experience would begin fifteen hours before my impossibly impractical, coffee-colored cowgirl boots ever stepped off that fateful South African flight into Dakar.

Maybe I’d forgotten. I have, after all, been living a suburban dream for the past three months. As Ben and I approached our gate in Dulles, we saw Dayton talking with a man with a decidedly Senegalese air about him. If his traditional blue robes weren’t enough to tip us off, his insistence on directing all queries regarding the scowling, petite brunette standing in front of him to the two men flanking her on either side was a dead giveaway.

 [Maybe the cowgirl boots threw him.]


Thank goodness I had Danielle to help me pack, play secratary, and keep me sane...

Monsieur Senegalese-man asked the boys how long I’d lived in Dakar, where I lived in Dakar, and then came that inevitable zinger.

 “Madame ou Mademoiselle?” [Are you married or single?]

 Ooof. I didn’t even make it out of the US! At that point, I probably would have married him for a venti caramel latte, but Dad made it clear before I left Raleigh that this year I ought not to even bother him with marriage proposals involving less than 82 goats.

 A girl’s got to have standards, after all.

Michelle and I in the Dulles airport, about ten minutes before boarding the plane.

Three caramel lattes, two exceedingly bad in-flight movies and one exceptionally freezing plane ride later, I very suddenly found myself standing on the tarmac drowning in that thick, African air I’d almost forgotten. It was as though time had frozen while we were away-driving through the broken city as dawn broke over sinister minarets and tired, dilapidated rooftops, it was clear that Dakar was still just as we’d left it.

 The past two days have been a dizzying blur of sweat, sleep, and a distinct lemon smell as Christy, Michelle and I channeled our inner Martha’s and tried to exorcize three months of Senegalese grime from our apartment. I have months of stories from this summer to tell, and goodness knows I can barely keep up with the stories in Dakar-but for now there is a foam mat on my floor that my jet lagged little body can no longer resist. My blogging hiatus is over-I’m excited to be back, and I can’t wait to tell you the stories! Bon nuit, mes amis.

Apartment chaos. In our defense, we were packing for nine months...


  1. Um, I think that’s pretty tame for 9 months!

  2. Oh, and, did all the bags make it? That was my superficial prayer.

  3. Haha! Well, what you saw in that picture wasn’t ALL of our stuff…but yes, the bags made it. Thanks for that superficial prayer-getting ALL of our stuff when we landed was huge!

  4. Glad you didn’t marry him!
    I’m working on coming up with the goats over here (figure that should take a couple of years)…
    What’s your goat to caramel latte exchange rate?

  5. You’ll have to check with my Dad, sir, but given the unfortunate fact that he doesn’t DRINK caramel lattes, you might want to reconsider your offer and switch to iced tea…

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