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Photo by Sophie Singletary



My name is Alison Parish. I was born on the small island of Jamaica, West Indies. Since immigrating to the United States at the age of four, I have lived in the Bronx, New York. Having grown up in the bustling metropolis of New York City, I look forward to experiencing both the rural environment throughout our trip as well as a different urban setting in Dakar.

I am most excited about building relationships with my host family, mentors, and the communities I become involved in while staying in Dakar. I hope to see from another perspective through conversation, integrate myself into Senegalese culture, and explore the city. Through spending time with my host family, I would like to create a home away from the Bronx. I look forward to working alongside and learning from those who are finding solutions to certain issues. At the same time, I will be speaking two different languages and following the customs separate from my own. Thus, these 9 months will be a challenging and enlightening adventure!

On the contrary, some of my biggest fears include navigating the first few months knowing little Wolof, making cultural mistakes, and becoming homesick, which does not usually happen. Also, if I am being honest, I hope I do not encounter any snakes.

As I prepare for Senegal, I have been spending lots of time with my family and friends while seeing new parts of my city and state! The picture posted is the sunset at Lake George. I can’t wait to meet all of you in less than two weeks!

All the best,


P.S. I would like to share this quote from Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

P.P.S. I found a Senegalese playlist on Spotify and I like the song: Douaou Djabira by Sidiki Diabaté.