Sooo…there’s a coup.

GO figure. Mauritania never makes the news, and after less than 2 months of living in this country, the military arrests the President and Prime Minister and makes Yahoo’s Main Page. Even living out in the bush, we were aware of the situation less than an hour after it happened. We actually even found out before some of the trainees in Rosso, the region capital. It’s not violenty serious, and we are all safe here, I’m more just excited to be around while this is all going on. I never would have imagined I could say, I’ve lived in a country through a coup d’etat. But then again, I’ve never lived so close to refugees, never had to do 101+ things that are new to me here.  Anyway, I haven’t been home with my family since it happened, but my language teacher didn’t seem too worried since it’s bloodless.

Here’s a little more info:


So the reason I’m in Rosso today was to have a joint tech session with Health on Aids and HIV in Mauritania and Africa. What I came away with is that fear and ignorance are what fuels the discrimination that inhibits many from being treated and from future prevention. In a way, that discrimination and prejudice is inevitable if those without the factual information of its transmission don’t want to get it, but some of the stories we heard from an actual women who came to speak who has the disease were so heart-breaking. Before she found out she had it, she was like everyone else with their “it’s not my problem attitude” but she feels like it was fate that know she is a part of its treatment and prevention, she considers it, not a gift,but a wake-up call to take action. She seemed so strong and confident and sure; quite inspiring to say the least.

In other personal news, Jackie told me a good quote today: “Don’t go looking at someone else’s porch until you’ve swept your own”–or something along those lines.


4 Responses to “Sooo…there’s a coup.”

  1. Vicki (Ryan's Mom) Says:

    Amanda — Thanks for the update on the coup! As you can imagine, there were many anxious parents back here in the US!! I spoke to Ryan a while ago and he reiterated what you have said in your blog, so that eases the minds of many!

    Take care, and keep up the good work on the blog!!

    Vicki McAllister

  2. P. Harper Dillon Says:


    There’s always a lot of stuff that doesn’t get seen. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist (or an anthropologist :)) to guess that the recently discovered oil reserves are at play in this. If you google “Mauritania Oil Reserves” you quickly discover that the Chinese are very actively involved in the actual development of these resources — . All the Western powers (US and Europe) have condemned the coup. No mention of China’s position, have to check that out.

    In any event military coups are pretty rare nowadays in most parts of the world. But you might be living through one of the first power play confrontations (albeit by proxy) of what’s building up to be the major fault line of world politics in the XXI century. Jeez, that’s a mixed (mixed-up?) metaphor.

    Your observations are really great.

    Dr. Dad

  3. Maggie Wyles Says:


    I just wanted to let you know how excited I am for you! I’ve been keeping up with you through your Dad who is, understandably, very proud of you.

    I don’t envy the rice and fish every day, but what an adventure! For me, the most difficult part of traveling is getting used to the food. While I didn’t travel to such a remote area, I did spend lots of time in Asia and remember well the day we splurged and bought wine, bread and brie which we savored as treasures from a forgotten world.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your keen observations and seeing photos.


  4. Sandra Says:

    I was cleaning my desk today and found your sweet card . I was nonfat decaf latte at Patticakes , Costume Designer who is over the business . I just read thru all your blog entries , and am so impressed and proud to know a young person who is making a difference in this world . I plan on keeping up with you now , and look forward to hearing of all your future adventures !

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