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Greetings from RIM

By   |  October 25, 2008

This is the first entry on Zotters.org from my Peace Corps service in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. For those who have never heard of this country (like myself, before I was assigned to spend two years here, working with girl’s education and empowerment), Mauritania is located in West Africa, just north of Senegal. I have now been here for approximately 4 months. The first 2 months consisted of language intensive training while living with a host family. I have spent the last two months in my permanent site which goes by the name of Aleg. Aleg is in central Mauritania and has mosquitoes and meshwi (local bbq) to boast. School was supposed to start two weeks ago, but because of the way things work around here, it probably won’t start until at least this Sunday, inshallah (if god wills it). Work weeks go from Sunday-Thursday since Friday is the day of prayer and rest. As I write this right now, at 5:05am, prayer call is going off. It goes off five times a day. Once school actually (and not just officially) starts, I will begin running a Girls Mentoring Center. This center will have academic as well as extracurricular activities that are held after school and on the weekends. Extracurricular activities may include computer lessons, cooking lessons, art lessons, and sessions geared on life skills. Until then, I have been spending everyday integrating as best I can. I wear a mulaffa on a daily basis and speak Hassaniya (or try to). Hassaniya is a dialect of Arabic. Hassaniya and French are spoken in Aleg. Mauritania is a diverse country, and if I go just an hour south to the Pulaar town of Boghe, everything from the language to the dress to the behaviors change to feeling a little more like what you imagine Africa like. Well, I’m signing off until next time.

Merehebe (nice to see you)

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One Comment on “Greetings from RIM”  (RSS)

  1. Sounds pretty amazing. Hope to hear more about your adventures and reflections. ;)

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