End of Homestay

Trip Start Jun 2008
Trip End Aug 2010

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Flag of Mauritania  ,
Sunday, August 24, 2008

Alright!  We are almost there.  Today was our last day with our homestay families and the only this standing in our way of becoming PCVs is our final language test.  I am not quite sure how I will do, but I think I will be fine.
The next couple of days are going to be pretty busy.  We are back at the training center and will have a number of last minute sessions in preparation for departure to our respective sites.  We will also have our official swear in ceremony and party, yeah!
I know we are not there yet, but it feels pretty good getting this far.  It really has been a pretty wild experience so far. Living with a Mauritanian family was experience I will never forget.  In our broken conversations, they really did teach me a lot about the Mauritanian culture and all-around take on life.  Looking back it is really pretty amazing they were willing to take me in.  While I am sure they have seen a number of PCVs in the past, this is the first year PC has had its training in Rosso and the first time PCTs have lived with families in Rosso.  They had no idea who I was or what I was like, only that I was American and was here to learn Hassaniyia for ten weeks before I left for my permanent site.  The surely knew that I did not look like them, would be of a different religion and culture, and likely would not be able to communicate with them for at least the first few weeks.  In the end, however, it all worked out.  They pretty much demanded that I come back and visit, which I will, and said that It was a great experience for them and that I was great to have around.  While it will definitely be great to get my own place, not having nine kids, two parents, eight goats, and a dozen daily visitors around me everyday might actually take some getting used to....
Check out the videos.  I am not exactly sure what was going on, but I think those are some Wolof guys in traditional garb doing war dances.  I say war dances, because they were fairly hostile towards the crowd, as they pulled one fellow into the circle and started to fight with him.  Clearly taken by surprise, he fought back and people from the crowd had to come in and break it up. Unfortunately, that video was too big to upload, but the dancing and music is still pretty cool.  BTW, I always ask before I take videos or photos- a good rule of thumb in foreign countries, as it could have been me in there fighting those dudes, though I think I could have taken them.  No big deal.
Alright.  I am gonna take a shower (for once) and unpack some of my gear.  Next thing you know you will be looking at pictures of me swearing in as a PCV Mauritania....Inshallah.
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