This post comes from Abroad101 friend and Guest Blogger Mairéad O’Grady, who currently resides in Washington, DC and works at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership as a French teacher and Residential Advisor. Inspired by her MSID semester in Senegal, Mairéad accepted a Grinnell Corps teaching position in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2010, where she spent her first postgraduate year. Now back in America, her work focuses on helping motivated high school students shape themselves into ethical global leaders who create positive change in our world.
Four years ago last month, I boarded an airplane full of strangers destined for Dakar, Senegal. Most of my fellow passengers were dressed in the colorful garb so emblematic of West Africa, chattering in a language I could not yet recognize with babies slung gracefully across their backs. The few who wore wide-eyed expressions and more familiar attire were my fellow study abroad students, and we gravitated to each other as we boarded, talking amongst ourselves while nervously imagining the next time we’d touch dry land. Continue reading