Unfiltered Realities: The Love-Hate Relationship With Home

Raby Gueye
3 min readMay 3, 2024


Reflections on Belonging, Love, and Home

As a Senegalese raised in the U.S, I am no stranger to the dichotomy of love and frustration that comes with calling this beautiful country home. My relationship with this land is colored by a unique perspective — one shaped by the experience of growing up abroad and being part of a “minority” ethnic group within my own country. In my latest installment of “The Unfiltered Realities of a Social Entrepreneur in Senegal” series, I invite you to journey with me as I navigate the complexities of belonging and the profound love I hold for a place deeply flawed yet undeniably cherished.

Home. The word itself evokes a sense of warmth, familiarity, and belonging. It’s the place where our roots are firmly planted, where memories are made, and where our hearts reside. But what happens when the reality of home fails to align with our idealized perceptions?

For me, home is Senegal — a country rich in culture, history, and tradition. But my connection to this land is tinged with a sense of otherness, a feeling of not quite belonging. As a member of a “minority” ethnic group and someone who spent formative years abroad, I straddle the line between insider and outsider, belonging and displacement.

In Senegal, like many other countries, we grapple with a myriad of challenges — from political instability and economic inequality to social injustice and environmental degradation. These issues weigh heavily on our collective conscience, serving as constant reminders of the work that lies ahead.

Yet, despite these shortcomings, there is an undeniable love that binds us to this land. It’s the love that drives us to roll up our sleeves and work tirelessly to create a better future for ourselves and generations to come. It’s the love that fuels our passion, ignites our creativity, and propels us forward in the face of adversity.

As a social entrepreneur, I am intimately familiar with the complexities of navigating the landscape of home. I have witnessed firsthand the resilience of the Senegalese people in the face of adversity, their unwavering spirit in times of hardship, and their relentless pursuit of progress.

But I have also confronted the harsh realities of systemic injustice, bureaucratic red tape, and the uphill battle of effecting meaningful change in a society resistant to transformation. It’s a delicate balancing act — one that requires equal parts optimism and pragmatism, idealism and realism.

Yet, through it all, I remain steadfast in my commitment to this country and its people. For despite its flaws, Senegal is a place of immense beauty, diversity, and potential. It’s a place where tradition and modernity intersect, where innovation thrives, and where the human spirit triumphs against all odds.

In this journey of self-discovery and societal transformation, I am reminded of the words of author James Baldwin: “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” Similarly, my love for Senegal compels me to confront its shortcomings head-on, to challenge the status quo, and to strive for a more just and equitable society.

So, as I continue on this journey as a social entrepreneur in Senegal, I embrace the flaws of home with open arms.I hope one day it’ll embrace me back.



Raby Gueye

Mom. Educator. Social Entrepreneur who enjoys writing. #TeachForSenegal #decolonizeeducation