We arrived in Dakar on March 3 in the afternoon. Immediately after exciting the plane, down the stairs the stresses of India and our travel flew away on the delicious sea breezes. We were met at the airport by our country coordinators Waly and Mariane and a couple buses. After dropping off the students at their hotel, the faculty got dropped off at their apartment. After being awake for over 36 hours with only a few hours of sleep, we collapsed into sleep.
Our first day in Dakar has been great. There was traditional food and dancing with the students and staff from the West Africa Research Center (WARC), our hosts for this phase of the program and then Waly and Mariane did a really thorough introduction to the program, logistics, homestays, and local culture. Then the students’ homestay families arrived and took them away. After the students had been whisked away, we went out to a delicious dinner with Waly and Mariane that included steak and fresh salad. We all have great feelings about this new country.