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By yesterday evening, I thought I’d adjusted pretty well to the rhythm of the weather around Thies. I’d wake up to the morning calls of the tisserands, quick and urgent, my skin already slightly tacky with sweat. The sun only grew stronger throughout the day, so I grew accustomed to spending the early afternoon indoors, napping or reading in front of the fan. The most exciting part of the day was its ending; as the air cooled, families and their nieghbors grew louder and more lively over dinner, ataaya, or the drone of the television. When the moon rose in the darkening sky, it ushered in a different version of this city; sharper, darker.


Today was different. Around 3PM, a few students and I sat on the curb watching the daily neighborhood soccer game, laughing and trading stories about our host families. Suddenly, a shadow passed overhead, then another. As if an alarm had been sounded, everyone began running towards home. “Where are they going?” Lauren asked, but none of us knew. Before we could speculate further, my host sister appeared from around the corner and called me inside.


I’d barely made it indoors before the first drops of water began to fall. I looked up, startled; in a matter of minutes the sky had shifted, the clouds rolling themselves into dense pockets of gray and black. When I reached out into the courtyard, expecting lukewarm sprinkling, I felt instread a shock of cold. “Tow,” my sister said, smiling at me. “Rain.” We spent the rest of the day in flickering, fluorescent, generator-fueled light, playing with the kids and slurping instant porridge.


Now I know that tomorrow, I’ll wake up to my first cool morning in Senegal. My usually refreshing shower will chill my skin, and I’ll make my way to school with my scarf, ready for the next bout of rain.