By Jacob Osias

Today was my first full day in Senegal. We woke up at about 9:30 and drive to Mr. Alter’s friend, Bandia’s house. His wonderful wives and family took amazing care of us with, I swear to God, the best food ever. We had Senegal’s national dish, Thieboudjenne. A dish of stewed fish, vegetables, and rice seasoned with many spices. After some tea, which we drank from the same cup, and the wonderful food, our language barriers began to crumble as Zach, Connor and I went and played soccer with some kids there. Like any normal soccer game, it turned into Kobe wrestling Alter’s friend, Bandia, in a friendly match. After a long suspenseful match and two sweaty men later, Kobe won his first traditional Senegalese wrestling match.

All of this made me think that hospitality is very important in Senegal. In America it’s unusual for your neighbors and family to hang out in your front yard all day, but here, it’s the norm. Like Kobe said, it felt like the 4th of July. Being in that environment just felt right. In the moments that made up today I wasn’t thinking about the cultural differences, but how good the food was, how many smiles there were, and the cute ass babies. It didn’t hit me until we were riding back to the lodge how different our cultures are. What I appreciated the most about the people we met today was their kindness, and that they truly wanted to welcome us to their home and to their country.

P.S. Mom, sorry for not calling, the service is bad here. I decided I’m going to stay here! Bye!

7 responses to “Appreciating Bandia’s front yard”

  1. Abigail Avatar

    Sounds like an amazing first day!!!

  2. Suman Panwar Avatar
    Suman Panwar

    Great Jacob and I must say it’s a beautiful country and the people from Senegal makes it even amazing ..

    It will be a great life time experience for you all and please
    keep some appetite for the Maafe.

    Namastey 🙏

  3. Lisa difebo Osias Avatar
    Lisa difebo Osias

    Jacob what a wonderful blog! You and your travel mates seem to be off to an amazing start! 😍 I love you!

  4. Meghan Avatar

    Jacob, so glad to see you all arrived safely and that you are already exploring the relationships, experiences, and FOOD Senegal has to offer. Keep exploring and keep sharing your adventure through your perspective!

    Thinking of all of you as this thanksgiving adventure unfolds (Mr. McNeill says ‘hi’ and would like you to take note of the music you experience while traveling – maybe you can write another blog posts with this reflection?!)

  5. jbyersccs Avatar

    Wow, that meal sounds like a Thanksgiving Dinner in a stewpot. Get after it, Seahorses—so glad you are stretching yourselves into these new experiences!

  6. Cola Avatar

    Thanks for making it vivid for us, Jacob. Soak up every experience and look everyone in the eye. You ain’t gonna get stronger people on this pale blue dot.
    Delaware Pride!

  7. pkempe Avatar

    Yes indeed Jacob, you always know you’re visiting a good place when you start wondering whether or not you could just stay there. It’s always amazing to experience the hospitality of others. P.S.: Are we certain that Bandia didn’t let Kobe win??

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