This draft started when I last traveled to Mauritania earlier this year, not expecting that I'd be back so soon. I rediscovered it when I was getting ready to travel to Nouakchott last week and, though Austin gives me a hard time for saying this, I was reinspired by my own words. The funny thing is that it applies just as much, if not more, now than it did before.
I am currently in the middle of a trip to Nouakchott, Mauritania. This is my
So my goals are to be useful and to learn something about the culture -- and most of all to be open to whatever happens. And to never think I know everything there is to know. The nice thing about Mauritania is it's clear, right off the bat, that you are just scratching the surface. When I first came to Nouakchott, I expected it to feel like a sleepy town at the end of the world. And in some ways it does. But there are also surprisingly gorgeous beaches and well-stocked supermarkets and a society far more complex than you can grasp in a quick ten days.
And speaking of being inspired by my own words, this note fell out of my legal pad when I was unpacking. It's my handwriting, but I have no recollection of writing it and no idea what originally prompted it -- it was a couple years ago, based on the stationery, and when I was presumably in a more woo-woo phase than I am now. But it was almost spookily apt and surprisingly reassuring as I geared up for my time here.