Trip Start Jun 2008
Trip End Aug 2010

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Flag of Senegal  ,
Thursday, February 26, 2009

Greetings from Mauritania!

I am back from Dakar, am well rested and in high
spirits. It was definitely a good trip, but all the
traveling has left me a bit weary. It is
good to be back to Awainatt. I will just
start at the beginning and yes, it will be censored...

I began by making stops in Aioun and Kiffa,
visiting other PCVs and breaking up the arduous journey across the
country. Eventually, I made it to Nouakchott, where I had
the opportunity to meet with the Rotary Club of Nouakchott. I learned quite a lot about the types of
projects they are working on and hope reconnect with them soon. The next day, the vast majority of the
Mauritania PCVs met in Rosso for a few training sessions and preparations for Dakar. The day after that, however, is when the fun

We boarded two busses and began the journey
into Senegal. We had three softball teams intent on
competing in the West African Invitational Softball Tournament (WAIST). I don't really know who organizes the
tournament, but teams from various Peace Corps countries, as well as teams from
the UN and Senegal
competed. The Mauritanian Pirated won,
of course, so it made the trip that much better.

I pretty much just spent my mornings by the
pool with all the other layabouts, wondering every now and again to the playing
fields to see our teams clean up the competition. I tried my luck at surfing, but of course the
wind turned the ocean into a bunch of chop.
Fair enough, I found plenty of other ways to occupy my time...like beer
and live music! We were staying all over
the city, but we all managed to meet up in the evenings for some fun
parties. Towards the end, my brain
started to scrabble, though, as I would often try to talk to the cab drivers in
Hassaniya, until their faces reminded me to break out my broken French....

My last day in Dakar, a few of us took a
boat to Goree Island, which served as a base for the West African slave trade
starting in the late 1400s. We found a
local guide who took us around and relayed some pretty interesting, however
tragic, info about the island's history.

It was great to have the chance to meet up
with volunteers from other countries to exchange stories and contact info. It was also great eating seafood and
cheeseburgers and swilling Gazelle beer.... Soon enough, though, it was time to
return to Mauritania
and a handful of us decided to keep away from Rosso and pass across one of the
other boarder crossings. We found
ourselves in Kirra, en route to Selebaby, which turned out to be a pretty cool
adventure. It allowed us to see a good
part of Senegal
from our car, as well as see a few towns and regions new to me. We stayed with PCVs along the way and
eventually made it back to Aioun. I did
some much needed laundry, and here I am...

Like I said earlier, it was a great trip,
but it is good to be back. We have a lot
of good projects planned here, so keep checking back to get some updates.

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