Senegal has a completely different way of life than anything you can ever imagine in the United States. You can tell yourself that there won’t be indoor plumbing, that you’ll be eating rice every single day, that no one will speak English but you and your fellow exchange students ---but that reality won’t really hit you until you’re actually there. Arriving in the beginning was fairly easy: it was fun and different, with new people and a new language. Even the first month with my host family was pretty great. I’ll admit I got a little bored now and then, but my host sister kept me fairly busy cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. Picking up the language was difficult, considering most of them spoke a kind of broken French and always spoke Wolof around the home. I’m happy I had some close friends from Hamline near me while I was there, or the beginning would have been a little rougher than it was! I’d definitely say there was a fairly large amount of culture shock. Becoming used to their slow pace of life was something I probably never got used to. Now that I’m home, however, with more homework than I can handle…I can’t help but look back on my time in Senegal, and wish I had nothing to do but lay out in the sand and sun on the beach!