Friday, March 20, 2009


Quick entry and update for everyone out there sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering which direction my incredibly exciting life will take next! Or for those of you so bored at work or school that you're procrastinating by reading my blog, again.

I've accepted my invitation to Mauritania, and am so far highly amused by the happenings since then. When I called to accept, I got the usual pop quiz: "What will your assignment involve? What skills will you use? What will you be doing? What do you plan to do? Do you have any concerns?" Because I was slightly more ready, I sounded like a lot less of a cretin than I did for my Madagascar acceptance invite quiz. I did voice the host family concern, and the person quizzing me seemed surprised that the ADO would've told me flat-out that everyone will live with a host family for two years. I said that if I didn't end up doing it, I'd be happy, and if I did, I was prepared, and shock of shocks, a Peace Corps employee thanked me for being so co-operative and flexible. I was sitting down, so everything was fine. I do feel a lot better about the entire situation now, though, because it really hurt my feelings (laugh if you want, but it did) when the ADO read me the riot act.

So I'm slightly more hopeful that I'll get my own space, but there are lots of benefits to living with a host family, which include (a) people who can take care of you when you get sick (b) an easy "in" to introducing new vegetables and recipes into local diet (c) an easy "in" to a community where, apparently, family ties are everything (d) you have people always looking out for you (e) you have people who can help you practice the language regularly and consistently. Looking on the bright side, as so many of the comments helped me to do last time, it will probably be fine. And if not, what's the worst case scenario? I come back early. Well, okay. I can handle that. As I told Peace Corps, if I get my own house, great. If I don't, I'm ready.

What I don't get, though, is what's everyone's obsession with pillows? Seriously, on the "packing advice" section of the Mauritania (abbreviated RIM--République Islamique de Mauritanie) invitees group, everyone is all about bringing a nice pillow and a bug tent. Bug tent, that I can understand. I'll buy a bug tent, if I'm living in the desert. Definitely. But, a pillow? Maybe in five months I'll be aghast at my profanity here, but I don't get it.

I'm planning an adventure which will involve camping out for about a month, visiting some family, and seeing a bunch of friends. If you want more information, email me. When I get back, Ari is coming to visit for about a week, and that will be really great.

That's all for now. If you want my RIM mailing address, e-mail me to ask for it. If you're on the mailing list, it'll go out sometime soonish. If you're not on the mailing list (it's email) then comment or email me, and I'll add you. Oh, and for everyone on the list, I'm sorry that I forgot to BCC it last time. I was a bit outside myself when I sent it, and hope you'll all forgive my indiscretion.

Next time: The Chicken Hoop.


Boydo said...


Liz said...

Hi! I'm one of the (now former) members of the June '09 Madagascar group, and I just found out that I've been reassigned to Mauritania as well. Just wanted to drop you a line and say hello (and see you in June).

- Liz