So you spend time packing up what you need, storing what you don’t, and getting rid of any excess, repacking so it all fits better, and dreaming dreaming dreaming of Africa. One week left! Plans to see that last handful of friends! And then…people start posting “postponed” on facebook. A few hours of dread and breath-holding and then you get your phone call. Suck!
Here is the deal: Mauritania is currently governed by a military junta that took power on August 6th, 2008 in a bloodless coup after the country’s first freely elected president tried to fire some of the top military commanders. Election were scheduled to be held on June 6th, but were postponed after an agreement made during talks in Dakar, Senegal to form a 28-member transitional government. These talks included the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, and the Arab League. Elections have been moved to July 18th. If no candidate wins the majority vote a second election round will be held on August 1st. (First and last, I would like to thank Al Jazeera for letting me plagiarize your article. Love you AJ!)
In the meantime: Mauritania is still processing our visas. The Peace Corps waited as long as they could to postpone the (my) staging group, which is why this news comes so soon to departure. They are hopeful that everything will resolve itself and that we can leave in mid August when our visas, plane tickets, and everything is ready. In the meantime we check our emails in case plans change and we have a plane to catch sooner then that (or Allah forbid, later then that). We will have a few weeks notice. No worries!
So: I will be spending the summer cleaning toilets and making beds. A local hotel hired me to be a maid. And they hired me quickly. Sadly because, unlike other applicants, I know how to spell ‘housekeeping’. Funny thing is, they acted appologetic because it can be (really) a shitty job. I don’t think they believed me when I said that I have had “difficult” jobs before. No, really! I used to spend two hours every morning in downtown Portland picking up heroin needles and used tampons from the streets with one of those squeezey trash sticks before spending my afternoons doing landscaping and my evenings waiting tables at the Hillsboro Pizza Hut. I have worn aprons in jobs before. Just not this type of apron. It will be fun! And easy!
Afternote: Bring on the toilets…because apparantly Mauritania doesn’t have them anyways!