Marsha L. Allen (Senegal 1984–86)

Monday, November 21
7:03 pm

DURING MY TWO YEARS I learned many things: A new language, how to adapt to a new culture, how to cope with the sometimes intense and almost unbearable heat, and more importantly, I learned to make life for the people there a little easier.

I learned to care about a group of people who thought of me as their daughter, their sister, their friend. I learned to laugh with them and cry for them. I learned the importance of being with them for the good times as well as the bad.

I learned both patience and persistence – two very important factors in the life of any Volunteer.

I also learned all about that feeling you get when it’s time to leave. That sinking feeling in your stomach. The one that makes tears swell in your eyes. It’s that same feeling that makes your heart ache while you’re standing in line to board the plane for home when suddenly . . . thoughts of those you have left behind flash in your mind. You wish those thoughts would disappeared, but memories never fade.

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