Algunas Noticias

I had one of my mexican friends come visit for the weekend, hence the title of this post.

So, the GMC is now open. We have now officially had a full weekend of classes. The turn out was a bit lower than I expected or could have hoped for, but with each day, I see what I can improve on, and I’m constantly coming up with ideas. Thanks to everyone for the reassuring comments, I know I am definitely my harshest critic, but aren’t we all? Dave gave an awesome health lesson. Ashley gave a great English class, and Zeinabou seems like a natural at teaching computers.

One of the things I love about this country is that you can go wandering around your city and expect to be welcomed into a random person’s house. I had gotten used to this feeling until I brought it up with my mexican friend and we couldn’t stop laughing at how, that is something definitely unique to this country. There is no way I could walk around my town back in California and wait to be bismillahed by any old person hanging out on their yard. Here, if you have no lunch, you can just walk around right before or during lunch, and it’s 90% likely you will be asked to join. This is just typical Mauritanian hospitality, which is partially related to their Islamic faith (one of the pillars of Islam says Muslims must give alms to those in need), but I also think it has to do with this continent of Africa (hard to explain what I mean by that), however it works out pretty well if you are just a poor volunteer with not a lot of money to spend on food. In fact, yesterday, I saw three people who specifically asked me after I had met them once before, why I had not come back to hang out and spend the day with them since then. Or why I had at least not had tea with them. This happened at two boutiques and with one woman I passed on the street.

Janna, Ashley, Sean, Lily and I have found a man to tutor us in Hassaniya. He’s pretty great because he speaks English and French, and we try to have niqaash siyaasia (political discussions) with him. I feel like I’m finally starting to learn some vocab I can use on more educated people as opposed to the simple repetoire of day to day words. Well, I think I’m off to make some flashcards and after that I’ll probably go visit at least a couple of the maybe 20 people I owe a visit to. Hasta Luego!

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One Response to “Algunas Noticias”

  1. Dwight Says:

    Wow man! That is so cool! The fact that you can just chill with anyone anywhere, and it’s there idea! The world here in California is so different. I guess when people have things, they just want more, and are ungreatful about what they dont’ have. It seems like everyone is greatful for everything they have there, and people give all the time. The energy is just different.

    Glad the center is now starting and things are happening. You’re a leader now! Keep up the good work!

    Dwight

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