Sunday, July 20, 2008

Site Announement and Mermaids!

I know it’s been a while since I was in contact, and I’m sorry. I’m currently back at the Peace Corps center, and we will all be taking a week to go visit our permanent sites, which they’ll tell us about on Monday. I’m super pumped to see everyone again.

Things with my host family is going great. We get along really well, and my host sisters and I have become really good friends. It will be sad to leave them in a month, but I’m ready to settle in at my permanent site and stop bouncing around so much.

Other than that, things are going great. I’m having tons of fun, learning a lot, and can’t wait to start working.

I promise, pictures are coming soon, but the internet moves so slowly, I have to wait until I develop the patience to do it. Here is a little story to tide you over until I write more! I miss and love you all!


I showed my sisters some card tricks, and then when they asked how I did them, I told them that it was, of course, magic. The 19 year old told me that she did in fact believe in magic. She then asked me if I believed in vampires. I told her I did not, and she agreed. Vampires are not real.

Next, she asked me if I believed in mermaids, or more specifically, a water creature that is half woman, half fish. I could tell by her voice that she most definitely believed in mermaids, so I decided to not flat out say that I didn’t. Instead, I just asked her many questions about their existence.

Where do they live? Mauritania mermaids live in oceans, rivers, and lakes. How do they breathe underwater? With gills of course.

I then told her that we had a movie about mermaids, and she said she had a seen it. I said that you can’t always believe everything you see on TV. She said she knows, because she sometimes sees American TV shows where unmarried couples live together, and she knows that can’t be true.

Moral of the story….


Mermaids- real

Unmarried couples living together- unthinkable

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My First Post from the RIM

Oh man, I know it’s been a while, so I’ll give you all a quick update. Everything here in Mauritania is going great. It’s really hot, but other than that, I love it. The other Peace Corps trainees are really nice, and I love my host family. Here is my basic routine: everyday I have about 6 hours of language class trying to learn Hassaniya, which is a dialect of Arabic. In between that, I’m usually with my host mom and sisters speaking French/Hassaniya, eating with my hands, and taking bucket baths.

So far the best part has been my host family. I have a 19 and 13 year old sister who are helping me learn Hassaniya while I help them learn English. We play a lot of UNO and have a dance party at least once a day. They’ve also taught me how to wear a mulafa, which a big sheet that you use as a dress/head covering (pictures to come). Basically, they’re awesome.

A few other notes, just for amusement…

Every day when I walk down the street I am greeting by various children yelling “Bonjour toubab”, which means hello white person.

My sister really wants me to find her a toubab husband, and if I do, she is going to name her first child Becky.

We have three goats and two sheep that sleep next to the room. Since there is no trash disposal system here, the animals pretty much eat any garbage left on the property.

We had a pretty bad storm the other night. My family all sits in a room together in the dark (they made me turn off my flashlight) and they chant for the whole storm. This was probably one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had here.

Ok…that’s all for now. I promise to write more soon and post pictures! I miss and love you all, and hope to hear from you soon!