I finally registered for classes yesterday! I am officially still a student at the University of Michigan. I waited for my specific sign-up time (12:45pm exactly), and raced to sign up for the classes I needed for the fall semester so that there would still be open spots in them for me.
The whole process got me thinking about how relaxed Senegal is from the US. I don’t mean that people are drinking daiquiris under coconut trees on a sunny beach all day. Practically no one is at the beach except for guys working out and the occasional toubab. What I mean is that in Senegal, everything happens according to the will of God. “Inchalla”. This can be both awesomely calming at incredibly frustrating. It’s a great point of view when my professor realized he forgot to give us our midterm exam two weeks after we were supposed to have done it, and it was not a big deal whatsoever. If the same thing ever happened in the US we would probably have to make it up A.S.A.P. or do a series of assignments to compensate. But not in Senegal, because that’s just what happens sometimes. It’s quite hard to get stressed when nothing is really urgent, because it will happen when God wants it to happen, and you can’t change that so why not just accept it? But it sucks sometimes too, such as when I hear stories about hospital nurses chatting with their friends instead of rushing to get the job done. It can be frustrating when we visit an organization for a class field trip and we just sit around for an hour before anything happens because people are taking their time. If someone gets hit by a speeding car in the middle of the crowded street, its because God meant for that to happen then.
It’s taken some adjusting on my part, coming from a culture that’s all about being on time and doing things quickly and doing a million things at once before everyone else without considering the mental toll it takes to do all of that. So registering for classes yesterday, a process that required me to meet all of those pressing expectations, was quite the eye-opener.