Last Friday we met our host families. Becca and Caryn are together with a host mom who has been welcoming students from all over the globe into her home since 2002. Their mom speaks French and Wolof and is patient in teaching and communicating with them. Her children all have families of their own, so the house is often quiet during the day. Austin's host family has housed everyone from students to CDC doctors for the past ten years. Six immediate family members live in the three-story home, as well as 2 Senegalese students going to university in Dakar and an American also studying at DIAS. Though most of the family doesn't speak English, they are very patient and understanding as he learns French and Wolof.
Family is incredibly important here, and members of the extended family often stop by to spend time with each other. We are always meeting new people who are often excited to help us practice the few phrases of Wolof we have learned in our class thus far and expand our vocabulary beyond. The past week with our families has been an incredible time of learning and creating new memories.