Today is the first day that we have had just classes (Wolof, L’Histoire d’Islam, Dakar en Transition). I had my Wolof and L’Histoire d’Islam already, and after lunch I will be going back for my last class of the day. Wolof is everyday from 9-11am, L’Histoire d’Islam is a MWF class that is from 11am-1pm, and Dakar en Transition is a MWF from 3pm-5pm. All of my classes are at the ACI Baobab Center, which is about a 10-12 minute walk from my house in Mermoz (Dakar is divided into various neighborhoods, similar to how Paris is divided into 16 Arrondissements). There are two classes that we have not had yet: (1) a seminar class that we take every TTh (begins tomorrow) and (2) our final class, which will be a development class (The Senegalese River Valley) that we will take during our one month stay in St. Louis.
It is definitely a change to be taking classes abroad; classes are mostly in French and I feel somewhat uncomfortable about this rapid change in teaching style. The French is not bothering me too much, but the informal structure of the classes is very different than back home. I am used to a more formal teaching environment, but as I have been told numerous times I need to be flexible and understanding of my new home. I can’t wait until I have been in classes for more than a week to really reflect on the differences and the adjustments that I am making to learn, understand, and appreciate what is going on around me. I can definitely say that I am beginning to grow more as an individual (just in this first week and a half); I am extremely fortunate to have the things that I do back home.
I wanted to write a short entry about my academics in Senegal before I go and eat lunch. Take care and hopefully I will write again soon!