Tricia Makes a Japanese Friend in Senegal

Fatick, Senegal – March 2010

One of the most powerful bonds between people is formed when people who feel like outsiders find solace in each other.  This is especially fun when there is nothing connecting these people other than the fact that they are outsiders.

26870_529738404642_2400011_nWhile I lived in Fatick, there were fourteen people in the city who were “toubabs,” and eight of them were on our mission team.  There were three other Americans in Fatick doing work with the PeaceCorps.  There was one Korean girl who worked at the hospital and two Japanese girls who taught at one of the schools.  “Toubabs” are people whose light skin obviously differentiates them from the local Senegalese.  Any further national divisions were often hilariously wrong.  I was usually recognized as being from the United States, but only because I am tall.  My housemate Liz, also from the United States, was usually assumed to be from Japan, because she is short and has dark hair.  But no matter what, whether from Asia or America, we fourteen were all “toubabs.”  Continue reading