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Car Rides

The other day, the night before our departure to Kolda, our I-team sat us down to explain the day ahead. Their words were something like, “5 am wake up for a 10 hour drive” and my immediate response, as if I were some pre-programmed robot was, “Okay not too bad”. The lack of sarcasm in my voice shocked me, genuinely shocked me, as I pondered if that was actually my voice that uttered those words. At home I dread long car rides. Even with the comfy bucket seats of our spacious suburban. Even with my iphone in hand, all of the internet just under my fingertips to occupy my time. Even with my favorite songs blasting on the radio, ample leg room, and my siblings shoulders to sleep on, I dread spending hours cooped up in a metal box on wheels. Despite these luxuries, I find myself bored and restless. I spend my time complain and mindlessly watching the monotonous views of the highways and the Google Maps estimated time of arrival. Therefore, when I genuinuely felt no dread about the car ride to Kolda you can imagine my surprise. For some reason, I don’t mind my knees ramming into the seat in front of me, or being smushed in between two of my fellow sweaty dragons. I’ve found the bulky canvas med kit makes a relatively comfy pillow and a kindle is an adequate substitute for an iphone. As red dirt swirls through the window and the beautiful Senegal countryside zooms past my eyes, I feel lost in an adventure. Car rides at home are tainted by sameness. But here everything is new. The views, the discomfort, the breakfast sandwich concoctions. Any minor tangible inconvenience of the ride solely adds to the adventure and my own sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. I am going to miss the onslaught of new experiences everyday. I am going to miss the excitement that mundane activities can have here. But I hope that I will maintain the ability to find the small adventures in my everyday, so that way I can hold on to Senegal in all my days at home.