All of us boarded buses heading out of Camp Peace Corps. We arrive at a very nice hotel in Dakar with a pool and air conditioning. We are told we have an hour or so to settle in, go for a swim, and then head into a meeting with our country director. We walk into what we think is going to be a meeting just with Mauritanian Peace Corps staff, and end up being introduced to "the security team". As soon as I heard the word "team", I knew all hope was lost. One member of the team is actually the head of the national Peace Corps program. Though she had the unfortunate job of breaking the news to us, I think many of us appreciated that she is spending with us about half of her last ten days in office before Obama's new pick takes over.
As you've noticed, there has been a lot of instability in Mauritania since the beginning of my service last year. As I suspected, they have decided we will not be allowed to return to Mauritania. Today was obviously a very sad day for all of us, but I'm trying to remember that this also opens up a whole world of possibilities for the future. I will be back in America (again) probably within the next week. I've got a lot of ideas about what comes next, but I'm pretty sure it involves more Peace Corps service. I'm not going to write all the details here, because I don't know them all, but I'll be sure to keep you all updated.