Senegal SST students finished their last weeks in their service assignments and on Wednesday and Thursday they all made their way safely back to the CAFE guesthouse in Thiès where they started their Senegal journey three months ago. Lots of hugs and so many stories to relate to each other about the last weeks. Thursday was their opportunity to connect again with their Thiès host families and say goodby to them. Friday morning we met together to take care of some SST business and then everyone packed up their stuff to leave Thiès for the last time. After lunch we loaded up our trusty bus for the trip to our retreat location on the beach between the towns of Ngaparou and Saly. We are delighted to have join us our coordinator, Adama, and his wife and four boys as well as Awa who has cooked for our group many times, and her husband, George and their baby Samuel. They were also part of the family where Ardy lived during her time in Thiès.
We are renting several houses in this residential community. It is a bit of a shock to have air conditioning, hot showers and wifi, not to mention the pool and the ocean just a few steps from our doors. There is lots of time in the schedule to relax, eat and play together. We are also meeting together to tell our stories to each other and to reflect on what those stories mean to us. Many of the stories are happy, some are hard, and some we haven’t figured out yet what they mean. And we are thinking together about how to best tell our stories to our friends and family who will want to know about our experiences when we get home in (just!) a few days.