My time in Dakar has ended. I was greeted by old man winter and family last Tuesday night in Cleveland.
Coming back here – reconstructing a ‘home’ (a daily routine, familiarity with people and places that you interact with on an everyday basis) was not as difficult as I had thought before I left Senegal. So far (key word is ‘so far’) – past participants told me the spring quarter at K (College) is difficult to re-adjust. We’ll see how it goes.
We (students) were told that readjustment and reintegration into the culture that you move back into can be very difficult and to acknowledge this and the feelings of anxiety, isolation, and homesickness (for the place you studied abroad at) that you may encounter. Perhaps, the easier-than-expected re-entry (so far) was because of my preparation and expectations for it to be difficult.
Now, Reverse-Culture shock definitely exists: the immense amount of books at the public local library (almost all in English !); the Peace Corps party in Dakar; people speaking english (you can now overhear conversations and vice versa !); the weather (this aspect has been harder for me to adjust than what I expected) these are all a bit weird when I encountered them for the first couple times when I returned because these experiences were familiar, but they were not experienced in a long time.
I hope to write more often since I have time in the coming weeks before I return to school at the end of March and recount some experiences and thoughts.