Told from the point of view of Ali Hoyt, an American undergrad college student, living and studying in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, Doni Doni Kononi Danala – Little by Little the Little Bird Builds its Nest is an ethnographic reflection on intercultural exchanges and friendships across Western and non-Western cultural differences, and the deep and impactful effects of the intercultural mirror: the pupil of the eye of cultural others. Before she embarked on the study abroad trip, Hoyt shaved her head with the reasoning that she would attract less unwanted attention. No makeup or beauty products were purchased on preparatory shopping trips. The version of herself that her homestay families met and got to know was not the version of herself that she typically presented in the West. She was exposed. All of her exterior guards had been removed. Join Hoyt as she reflects on her cross-cultural experience living in Guinea, and the friends she met there who turned into family. The intercultural mirror is at play throughout each twist and turn for this Westerner experiencing non-Western travel for the first time.

In: Intercultural Mirrors