Wait wait wait! We leave a little Magreb ?? Surprise: it’s June 19th today!
Let’s travel in time and space
Exactly one year ago I was preparing to take the plane heading to Arizona. One of the longest trip of my life … connecting Dakar to Arizona is like going around the world. I felt like the adventurous hero of Jules Vernes, Phileas Fogg, who set himself the challenge of going around the world in 80 days.
First 5 hours flight from Dakar to Paris, then 11 hours flight from Paris to Salt Lake City in Utah, finally a little less than 2 hours flight from Salt Lake City to Phoenix. Between flights 4 hours in Paris and 3 hours in Salt Lake City.
We left Dakar on June 19th at 11pm in Dakar …. to reach Phoenix on June 20th at 5:35 pm. As if we had only 18 hours of travel then in reality we had 5 + 4 + 11 + 3 + 2 = 25 hours of travel! Yes, there is a time difference of 7 hours between Dakar and Phoenix.
Let’s talk about this time difference. I realized that I did not really know what wasa time difference. The max I experimeted was 4h! It was in Phoenix that I understood the meaning of the word Jetlag! Hum Jet lag is not a joke . During a week in Phoenix I woke up at exactly at 2am no matter what time I went to sleep! I was up with an incredible amount of energy! And then I wanted to talk, to exercise, to move, to clean deeply the room. I was at the top level of hyperactivity at 2: AM. I could really climb the higgest mountain at 2 AM. Fortunately, the gym was there to help!
That’s not all. At 2 PM I was down ! I was so sleepy and I just needed a bed! My body and my mind stoped to respond. It was quite confusing! Especially that it coincided with class time! And they put so much heart and energy into it that everything had to be done to show interest. The worst thing was that you I had to hold until 9pm at least !! And I don’t like coffee … I never drink coffee so how to hold in these cases?
How did I manage to stay up despite all this jet lag things?? This is where the mindset plays his role.
In fact I was super determined because I was participating in a unique exchange program and I considered myself lucky.
Hyper motivated because I was going to receive training on areas that I was eager to explore.
Excited because I had with me 23 leaders as inspiring as each other and from all over Africa. We were going through the same feelings and there was a strong solidarity between us .
Excited also because reading the schedule of my host university ASU, each day promised to be both rich, informative and fun. In fact I was excited to start my days and I was excited to do 1 million different things.
And yes I forgot to point that a day in America is more than 24 hours elsewhere 😂😅.
So I was going to spend:
6 weeks of an amazing human experience,
6 weeks of extraordinary meetings with public Leaders in the state of Arizona, who was willing to share with us their experience and their work and keep their doors open for us
6 weeks of discovery of the West American landscape and culture
6 weeks with an adorable dream team that I thank for their commitment , availability and kindness! Shout out to Diane who’s voice sounds still in my head!
6 weeks with those who will be for me a second family ❤️❤️❤️❤️.
6 weeks of laughter and craziness
But especially 6 weeks in a city I dind’t even know 6 months before and which I loved at the first sight! Oh yes. What I did not tell was that I was praying to go to Miami 😂😂😂 and when I saw Phoenix, well … how to say, I went to google 🙈🙈🙈. Then when I saw what I saw I remembered the cartoon Beep Beep and Coyote and I realized where I was going.
I will tell you about my stay in Phoenix in the state of Arizona; Phoenix the city in the middle of the desert 🌵.