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guilt

kids
A major problem returned peace corps volunteers face is guilt. It is one that I can not escape, especially living in country. The fact of the matter is that once I left peace corps, I could escape a life of extreme poverty. Not to say I am not still poor, but I went from living on $200 dollars a month to living on $500 to $600 and I make much more that that.

This $500 to $600 lifestyle allows for a maid and for ice cream, cokes and vacations. Things I often can not enjoy. My maid makes $80 dollars a month. She works a couple hours 4 times a week. This money includes her transportation, so her take home is around $50 a month. I have met two of her children, but I know she has more. My husbands family lives on around $200 a month. That includes $100 a month from me and Mowdou. On average 13 people live at the family house. Most of them are not working or working and not making money.

Things were not that bad, but now food prices are raising. The prime minister of Mauritania says that no one is suffering. However, I visited my friends and family in Kiffa. People are suffering. I saw a number of people go from surviving to barely surviving or dieing. I was an honored guest as I walked around town and people offered their best. That is what makes me so sad and so guilty. They could offer me so little.

Still, what can I do? I can not send money to everyone. Even if I do, it will only keep them alive. Meanwhile, I just eat the dinner my cook makes and drink a coke...

the pull of facebook is to strong

kids
Peer pressure has been strong to join over the past year, but I resisted...it was easy I had no real internet connection. However, now that I have an internet connection and my peace corps friends have scattered the globe...I have joined.

Now I wonder why it took me so long. I have found so many people.

by the way...

kids
by the way, some people think Morocco is roughing it...but I think it is nothing but perfection (with a couple of crazy people.)

Morocco Pictures

kids
My Morocco photos are finally posted. I went on the trip a year ago with some Maurtanian Peace Corps volunteers. You might notice that I posted ALL of my photos, not just my best. That is so my travel compainons can pick and choose. I am about a year late, so it is the least I can do.

Check out http://pics.livejournal.com/leah_travels

am I cooler?

donkey cart
I know it is wrong to think a possession can make you a more interesting person. However, I really think that my new (to me!) motor scooter makes me a little cooler. It is hard to drive it in sand, but fun and better than walking everywhere and cheaper than taking a taxi all the time.

I would insert a photo, but my camera is on the fritz. Just trust me, you would want to be my friend, if you were not already, once you saw the bike.

the mass email

kids
Have you ever been so far behind on communicating you do not even know where to begin. I feel like a novelist staring at a blank page, but with far less interesting stories to tell. Yet, this is no way to treat friends.

So, here is an update.

Mowdou and I are staying in Mauritania for awhile. We have sent in the VISA application, but we haven't hear anything. I have taken a job as a teaching assistant/ substitute teacher for an english speaking school. At first I was disappointed to take such a detour from my career path, but honestly, I am learning a lot about management of people and learning styles.

We are hoping to return to America in June. When the school year ends, but a lot relies on the VISA process. Luck-ly, my parents are helping us out, an unexpected surprise, so I have hope.

The mass email is soon to follow...perhaps I will even write some of my friend that I think about on a regular basis.

Ugghh....I am terrible.

external harddrive

kids
I am considering buying an external hard drive.

Does anyone have any advice? A recommended brand? If so, let me know.

Thanks.

Organizing

donkey cart
I have been trying to organize my photos. I have decided to make photo albums before I return to the United States.

Anyway, I was working on organizing my Morocco photos from last year when I remembered...

Damon, your evil twin is traveling. (I had to fake I was taking a picture of something else to get this.)


jealousy

kids
Recently I sent Mowdou's visa papers to my parents in New Mexico. Strangely, when I tracked the package on-line I felt a surge of jealousy. I wanted to be the package.

Check out it's journey below.



Date Time Location Service Area Checkpoint Details

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

September 15, 2007 13:05 Nouakchott - Mauritania Departed from DHL facility in Nouakchott - Mauritania

September 15, 2007 18:47 Dakar - Senegal Arrived at DHL facility in Dakar - Senegal

September 15, 2007 23:45 Dakar - Senegal Departed from DHL facility in Dakar - Senegal

September 16, 2007 10:25 Paris - France Arrived at DHL facility in Paris - France

September 16, 2007 11:33 Paris - France Departed from DHL facility in Paris - France

September 16, 2007 14:40 Brussels - Belgium Arrived at DHL facility in Brussels - Belgium

September 16, 2007 18:24 Brussels - Belgium Departed from DHL facility in Brussels - Belgium

September 17, 2007 19:54 East Midlands - UK Arrived at DHL facility in East Midlands - UK

September 17, 2007 20:21 Frankfurt - Germany Transferred through Frankfurt - Germany

September 17, 2007 20:22 Frankfurt - Germany Departed from DHL facility in Frankfurt - Germany

September 17, 2007 22:45 East Midlands - UK Departed from DHL facility in East Midlands - UK

September 18, 2007 03:41 DHL Wilmington Airpark, OH - USA Transferred through DHL Wilmington Airpark - USA

September 18, 2007 05:21 DHL Wilmington Airpark, OH - USA Arrived at DHL facility in DHL Wilmington Airpark - USA

September 18, 2007 05:32 DHL Wilmington Airpark, OH - USA Departed from DHL facility in DHL Wilmington Airpark - USA

September 18, 2007 07:57 Albuquerque, NM - USA Scheduled for delivery

September 18, 2007 08:34 Albuquerque, NM - USA Arrived at DHL facility in Albuquerque - USA

September 18, 2007 08:37 Albuquerque, NM - USA With delivery courier

September 18, 2007 11:54 Albuquerque, NM - USA Shipment delivered

Skype

kids
If you have Skpe let me know. We can talk.

Profile

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