Waking up at 5am and going on a 7 hour road trip to a place that is like no other nor what I am used to brought me unusual Joy (no pun intended). Whilst on the road we saw a lot of people that seemed so happy even though their area didn’t necessarily look like something that would bring them happiness. It brought them happiness because they had each other. As we drove East from the coast, the landscape of tall grasses and shrubs stretched on and on. The air was tinted red with dust. The people in the different villages find pleasure in their work which was usually selling fruit on the roadside. In the hot climate, shade is valuable territory, for selling, for resting, and for being together. Under the sun the relentless sun others were lifting really heavy goods, farming and trimming different crops.

Today opened my eyes on how American culture teaches us to work hard to get money to in turn have a happy life, where as in Senegal they are thought to be happy, kind and thoughtful, no matter what. It’s a strange important lesson I learnt today. I say this because it didn’t seem like much when we were in the van but looking at the people that make “Senegal” Senegal opened up my eyes. It has only been the second full day but I am filled with so much hope, happiness and a fierceness to carry the warmth of the Senegalese people back to CCS.

5 responses to “Joy’s Blog Post”

  1. Stephanie Scales Avatar
    Stephanie Scales

    A simple, yet powerful lesson to share with others. We can all benefit from this lesson.

  2. jbyersccs Avatar

    Great post, Joy! How can you bring that feeling of community without judgment and the need for “stuff” back to our CCS community? How can we live into the ideal of community while we embrace all kinds of people from all kinds of experiences? How can we be thankful for each other and what we have over and above what we want?
    How can we value each other and not “things”? How do we lift each other up and make a true community, the “blessed community”? You all are finding the answers every day. Keep searching and thinking!

  3. Mrs. Kiland Avatar
    Mrs. Kiland

    Joy, I know that you are ferocious, and that you will help us all to find answers to Mr. Byers’ questions! Keep opening your eyes, keep noticing!

  4. jrhomer Avatar

    Joy, I have always believed it is a gift to find pleasure in your work, as you saw the fruit vendors doing. I have also always valued the gift of contentment, which in our country is often seen not as a gift, but as a shortcoming. I wonder how you would compare that balance in Senegal vs. in our culture. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  5. Haley Wilbanks Avatar
    Haley Wilbanks

    Yes Joy!! It sounds like you’re doing what you’ve always done well – observing, taking everything in, paying attention to what’s around you. Always keep that question in the back of your head about what you can carry with you because it’s one of the most important parts of global education. I can’t wait to hear about it when you get back!

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