In the last couple of days, I’ve finally figured out what my new year’s resolutions should be. I didn’t intend to make any resolutions, they just sorta happened. So, the other day we had a family over to our house for brunch because we were sponsoring them (they just arrived on Tuesday). They were telling us about all of the places they’ve been to in Dakar and while it wasn’t a long list, it was still way more than Brian and I have done. Now, granted, the wife who is working with CDC at USAID has been working in Dakar off and on for the last 4 years (TDY) and her husband came out in May to check it out before they decided if she should take a more permanent job here so it’s not like they’re real newbies like we were, but still…. He wandered around the area we live, walking and exploring when he was out here in May. I was terrified of going anywhere by myself when we first arrived. And, while I can be good at making up excuses to make myself feel better like he’s traveled overseas before or he’s a man and it’s safer for a man to be out wandering alone, I still felt kinda pathetic.
So, I decided that now that I feel more comfortable with the language barrier and the area, that it’s time to venture out more. Once a week I’m going to try a restaurant I’ve heard someone recommend (heck, maybe I’ll just wander into one that looks decent!) for lunch. I’m going to take a morning walk with Matty in his new carrier that we’re going to use in Paris in April. I actually took our first walk this morning and it was absolutely wonderful. I let Matty guide where we went: I’d ask “Matty which way should we go?” and he’d say “That way” and point. He led us to the ocean and he just wanted me to stand next to it so he could watch the waves. While we were walking he’d say “hi” to the birds, ask where the birds went or say, “Come back, bird!” I think I’m going to like this exploring bit. 🙂
Lastly, my other resolution also stemmed from our visitors. After listening to them settle in so easily here, I thought about how some people settle into the foreign service life easily, others have a far more difficult time and I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I decided that I need to give myself a break and in doing so, it is now my mission in life to pick something I’ve never done before, would like to do, and do it. My only rule is that it should be something that feels decadent. So, the first thing I want to do is learn how to make fudge. Not just any fudge, but oh-so-yummy-gotta-have-it fudge. We’ll see how it goes. No matter what, eating it should be enjoyable!