I have been back in Senegal now for about a week and a half from my little vacation to Madison. Before I left I felt a little apprehensive about what to expect but sure enough, the USA I left is very much the same one that greeted me when I arrived back. There was no reverse culture shock, there was just annoyance at the old American habits of consuming more than necessary and wasting much more than necessary that stuck out more than they used to. In Senegal, even though its very difficult to find a street that doesn’t have a major litter problem by American standards, the waste is very little relatively. Everything is consumed by people or animals and reusable parts are reused until they will absolutely not function anymore and then they become great toys for kids.
Anyway, my trip was great. I got to see parents, grandparents, both my sisters, an aunt, an uncle, some cousins, and a few friends. To the shock and awe of many volunteers I also managed to seek out the Senegalese community in Madison and went to a baby-naming ceremony too. Despite the travel difficulties I had getting back to Senegal (involving a 24 hour delay added onto a trip that was already supposed to take more than 24 hours, all in airports or airplanes) I am glad that I made the trip and I am now ready to dig in and finish up the remaining months of my service. With 20 months under my belt, the remaining 4 or so will seem like no time at all.