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!

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