“Abengourou? It’s like a village. Good luck.”
As I stood in the passport control line at the airport, having only been in Ivory Coast for less than 30 minutes, this (well-intentioned) stranger’s comment about the town where I would be living for nine months did nothing to calm my already heightened nerves. During the past couple weeks of preparation I had been constantly wondering, “What am I getting myself into?” Now, plane had landed — I was here —and I was about to experience my new home, whether I felt ready or not.