Bugs Galore, and more

THe amount of insects that have recently shown up, is quite frankly, just completely ridiculous. There are blister beetles, june bugs of every known size, stick bugs, and those are just the ones I’m able to identify. Oh yah, there are also locusts and frogs (1/5 of the plagues that were brought down on Egypt, might I remind you). And when I mean there are a lot of them, I don’t even think exaggerating would do how many there are justice. I can count at least 6 blisters on my body from the beetles (i do use my mosquito night to sleep in, i swear). They all come out at night, and lately the locusts have been hanging around during the day as well. Dry season, I am sooo ready for you.

Today was an eventful-ish day, and tomorrow promises the same busyness. I took Liz to the tailor. She is down from Mocta Lijar to get clothes made and, of course see all her favorite Aleg faces. I’m starting to get closer to a lot of Mauritanian women lately, like for example, the tailor. When I went to visit her 2 days ago, I stayed and chatted for a bit. She told me that she used to have a bf of 5 years, but then he left to the US. We stumbled upon the topic of marriage because one of Mauritanian’s favorite question to ask is: hejella wella mithayma? This means, are you married or single? If you answer single, the almost automatic question that follows is, so are you looking for a Mauritanian husband? I usually am able to dodge this question by saying I am here to work, and I have a LOT of work. Anyway, after that, Liz and I got sandwiches at the only restaurant that any volunteer knows of in Aleg. Half a sandwich, which is a decent portion is only 100 ougiya. I discovered this “fast food” joint by talking to some Mauritanian girls who’s mother owns the place. After that, came back to the regional house, ate, played a quick game of Hassaniya memory with Ashley and then headed over to Zeinabou’s house to hang out and chat. She is my counterpart for the GMC. She is great, and has the best, sassiest sense of humor. That’s another thing I’ve noticed about Mauritanian women specifically. They love their sass. The bigger your attitude is, the sooner you’ll be accepted. I hope some of the attitude I’m developing in speaking Hassaniya rubs off and carries over when I am back in the states. I am pretty sure some of the other habits I’ve picked up since I’ve been here will also be brought back(not so much intentionally either), and will just create really awkard situations. For example, clicking at people to agree with them, or snapping at them to get their attention, or grabbing their hand when they said something awesome. I actually can’t wait to see my friends reactions to these new gestures.  After Zeinabou’s house, Sean, Ashley, Dave and I walked to Taiba (where Ava (agfo lives)). It’s the little brousse community out about 2 kms. On the way out of town, Ashley and I stopped to talk to Fatimatou, the vegetable lady who wants me to get her a notebook and teach her english. She is a sweet lady, and explained to me a little about how the market works in Aleg.

Yesterday I met these girls who’s mom is part of a co-operative that runs a boutique just a block from the regional house. Their names were Fatimatou and Mariem. Sidenote: since being in Aleg, I’m pretty sure I’ve met at least 7 Fatimatous and at least 5 Mariems. These girls were sooo fun to hang out with. Remember how I was talking about the attitude up above, yah, well these girls were chalk full of it. ANDDD, the best part was that the older one who is 18, knows English prettty well. She definitely has a lot of common english catch phrases down. I’m excited to hang out with them more. I told them I was looking for a room and they graciously said I could move into their room. Even though I knew it was a joke, it still felt sincere.

Overall, the more women I talk to and the more I explore, I feel like Aleg has very fertile soil for planting almost any developmental ideas I have thus far. I can’t wait for Ramadan to end, and for things to normalize, so I can figure out what my day job really will entail. However, on the same note, I cannot believe Ramadan is almost over. Sometimes I still feel like I just arrived in Aleg. My time here is going to fly by! I just know it.

P.S. Thanks to all my readers who come here to see how I’m doing. There are stats for how many visitors I have, so even if you don’t leave comments, I know how many views I’ve had, so keep it up! I miss everyone and hope all is well in your lives.

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5 Responses to “Bugs Galore, and more”

  1. Betty small Says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I enjoyed readying your blog as well as the other PCV’s. I’m glad that some of you find time to update your writings, since my sweet daughter, Liz, can’t find time to update hers. Thanks for taking care of her and helping her get clothes made. Be safe and take care.

  2. americaninparis42 Says:

    Thanks for the update, glad that you are fitting into the culture. How is the language coming along? I’m assuming that you are able to understand a significant amount is you can converse with the other women. Take care of yourself and I am wishing for less bugs to come your way!

  3. Dwight Says:

    Seems like you have definitely settled in now. It was great to talk to you the other day on the phone. It’s been so long! Sass, eh? That’s awesome. I can’t wait for you to get back and lay down the sass. It’s all about sass…

    Much luv…

    Dwight

  4. julie ann Says:

    haha… it is sooo true that we are like really living out the biblical plagues!! where is the river of blood?!

  5. Marta Williamson Says:

    Hi Amanda,
    Ashley’s parents here:
    This is so cool that you all have opened your blogs to the PCV parents.
    We enjoyed your blog and your writing’s. They complete some of the brief conversations with Ashley. Thank you Amanda for your friendship with our daughter. You girls are amazing!

    All Ashley needs is more sass!
    She could teach them a thing or two!!! hhahahahaha

    Best of luck with the bugs….yuck!

    Our best to you as you begin your new journey’s!

    Marta and Steve Williamson
    KC, MO

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