I have been living in Senegal, west Africa for 5 months. I am here with a program called Global Citizen Year( www.globalcitizenyear.org ) and I’m one of the 11 founding fellows. I got the opportunity through an 18 page application. Anyone at the Earth House can verify that because I was running all around Lockerbie trying to get everything together. Typing everything on the computer asking for rides to the post office and any other logistics there were. Without the Earth House I wouldn’t be here.
I have been learning a lot about myself here. There is something about traveling or just being out of your comfort zone in general that opens you up so you can see what makes you tick. My passion, convictions, insecurities, ego but most importantly you will see what makes you who you really are. I don’t mean that in a corny-ass-self-help-book way, I’m foreal! When you have a sense of identity that is authentic there is nothing that can hold you back. I knew this before I left but I didn’t have it.
For example I live in a village called Gorom 2 which is within the rural community of Sangalkam. Here in Senegal the “official” language is French. Or at least that’s what the French think. But actually the language that the people speak is Wolof which the indigenous language only found in Senegal. One of my biggest challenges was how could I be “myself” without my tongue ( which me and everyone around me believed was my strongest asset). And how in the hell was I to learn not one but two languages! In the beginning it was very difficult because I couldn't express myself. That forced me to self-actualize and find different way to let “Mat” shine through. And honestly it wasn’t as hard as I thought, all I had to do is try. I feel so much more well rounded now and I hope that these blogs will give you some inkling into the insights that have come to me here.
-submitted by Mat Davis, Earth House Ambassador to Senegal :)