Before you go somewhere new to live, they spend a lot of time talking to you about the different stages of adjustment you’re going to go through in the course of your stay. Technically I should be entering the “crisis” phase, where you start to hate everything because it’s different, but no longer new. If you research “the W-curve”, something is sure to come up.

Personally, I prefer to ignore them completely. I’m obviously going to break out with whatever symptoms they tell me to expect so long as i know they exist. It’s just how things work. By the same logic, if I ignore what they tell me I’ll feel everything naturally and analyse it myself. It could match up with what they say or it could be different.

Similarly but from the other standpoint, knowing what they told me to expect makes me all the more resolute *not* to follow that path. If they tell me I should be upset, I’m going to be happy. If they tell me I should be bored, I’m going to go out in the city and find something crazy.

Erm…I guess some of us don’t really like being told what to do…

I think going to St. Louis really helped us to avoid getting bogged down in routine and book-learnt symptoms. Coming home to Dakar actually felt like coming *home*. Everything was familiar and fairly comfortable. Now that a few weeks have passed I definitely feel like I am building a routine, but I don’t feel oppressed by it. Sometimes I get a little bored but there are enough books lying around to keep me occupied. There are enough places to go, and enough people to go places with.

University courses should start at the end of November, although with the frequency of student strikes no one really knows for sure.

The other thing that keeps me from wearing down is that I always take a long time to really *look* at my surroundings. I usually start small and build up the image as I go, which means I always have something new to look at. Sometimes I miss home, but it’s hard to miss it too much when I know that my time here is limited.

7 Responses to “Settled??”

  1. Amanda Says:

    so, when are we gonna start these socks?

  2. Dog Momster Says:

    Students go on strike in Senegal? That’s a change, since around here it tends to be the teachers/instructors….

  3. Larisa Says:

    Right. I’ve been in Budapest longer than you’ve been in Senegal, and I have yet to enter the crisis phase. Strange.

  4. Sam Says:

    Some people advise making maps (like annotated, sketched street maps) as a way to learn a new place, in part ’cause it takes you to locales that aren’t along your regular here-to-there routes…. Hugs to you, Traveler Moose!

  5. Kelsey Says:

    If not for the fact that I am utterly out of money, there would be no crisis involved in my study abroad.

  6. Your Squeaky Says:

    I haven’t heard from you in a while. Are you okay? Squeak squeak squeak! I love you. Your Mousey!

  7. Valdemort Says:

    Students used to go on strike here, but unfortunately a recent apathy in the dominant culture has kind of quelled that.

    I’d personally like to see more student strikes here. There are any number of legitimate issues which we could take on if we could only realize how powerful we are as a mass!

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