scared thrilled scared thrill scared thrilled

I find most things in life both scary and thrilling. I suppose I should hope it's always this way, but sometimes it feels like an awful lot of work.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Achmeddan and I spent our days sleeping on grass mats in the "cage", a thatched hut, round with tiny holes for doors and windows. The cage looked like a giant hershey's kiss, though slightly melting and listing to one iside. Not having Achmeddan's ability to sleep easily with heat and flies I spent my time mending my gear, installing a vent in my sleeping sheet, reading and writing. In the evenings we would join his firends four couscous, tea and singing under the stars.

It's very difficult to keep up with the recording of daily events. A lot happens and I have feelings and thoughts about all of it. I'll try to catuch us up right quick style.
I left Achmeddan a few days ago, saving money by ridin gin the back of a little Hilux from Agadir to Noakchott, a "five hour" ride that took a full eight. I shared the back with a few hundred pounds of carrots, eight adults, one child and two goats. From the looks of other trucks I would guess, impossible as it seemed, we were a long ways from setting any kind of cargo record. This time the goats were loaded into gunny sacks, the bags tied around their necks so their little heads were poking out. Poor little guys were loaded first and then some netting was stretched over them. On top the netting people and bags were piled higgledy piggledy. Kind of a tough journey for the little guys, and whenever I was feeling uncomfortable I would just watch their tired little faces and I'd feel a bit better about my circumstances. During the last few hours of the journey they'd let out occaional bleats of protest. The white goat had the funniest voice, like a person trying to imitate a goat. His poor thirsty tongue would shoot out to the side as he would shout bllEEEEEEHHH! The guitar came out at some point, but I wasn't in the mood after a long and difficult conversation about Islam and the obligatory request for help getting to Canada, despite the fact that my interlocutor knew nothing about Canada, not even that it is located in the Americas.
Finally arrived in dusty Noakchott, a flea-bitten town of sand and garbage and bustlying streets. I took a taxi to the Lycee Francaise where I met my host Chloe, a beautiful French girl halfway through a two year contract with a french development ngo in Mauritania. I spent the evening with her and her ill Mauritanian boyfriend, enjoying cold coke and my first real wash since takin the train.
I soaped and rinsed twice and was still appaled at the dust and grim left in the shower afterwards. Eventually I gave up.
That night was my first with teh mosquito net. It was awufl. There is a trick to using the net and it's one I'd yet to learn. Rather than keeping mosquitos out I kind of created a little mosquito zoo inside that net. I counted 40 bites between my left elbow and the top of my shoulder. I should get that malaria medicine.

ok. that's enough for now. as a real time update. It is the 14th of March and I'm leaving St Louis today or tomorrow for Dakar. Take care out there!


At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marty - your avid readers hang on your every word. This one does anyway. Much love and missing of you. Doob.


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