Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hey America, Thanks for the Memories!

Hello friend and family. Today is my last day in America. I'm so glad I got to see so many of you in the last three weeks. I had a great time! I know many of you have asked if it will be difficult to go back, but I actually feel pretty ready. I'm ready to dive into year two and getting to skip over that period when I didn't understand anything.

Just a little update for you all. I know I've explained to many of you the issues going on in Peace Corps, Mauritania. For those of you who don't know, I'll give you the brief summary.
  1. August 2008: There was a coup is.
  2. May/June: The Mauritanian government decided to stop giving visas to Americans.
  3. June: An American missionary was killed in the capitol by terrorists.
  4. June: Peace Corps decided not to send a new training class.
  5. July: Peace Corps decided to offer my training class "interrupted service", which basically meant we could end our service after our first year of service. Of our class of 70, 21 people decided to leave. I will be staying.
  6. July 21st: General Azizz, the leader of the coup, won the election.
What does this all mean? It means that I will not be going straight back to Mauritania. Instead, my vacation will be extended by at least a week for a training session in Senegal. Yay! As always occurs in Peace Corps, there have been many rumors going around, and since I am here, and all my Peace Corps buddies are there, I have to give them the benefit of the doubt. We are going to Senegal so that Peace Corps can do a security check on our sites in Mauritania. Also, I like to think, Peace Corps wanted to give us a little break since we've had kind of a rough year.

Here is the main thing to remember. I am perfectly safe in Mauritania! If it weren't safe, we wouldn't be there. I know it may seem like it's not, but I am safer in Mauritania than I would be in any other Peace Corps country. Because Mauritanians don't drink alcohol, that means there are no drunk driving accidents, but more importantly, it means people in general are less aggressive than they would be elsewhere. Mauritanians are very passive people, and I've never felt unsafe in Kiffa.

Okay. That's all. Again, I had a great time with you all while I was in town. I'll see you next year!

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