Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maintaining Sanity in Sandland

So I just got back to site after about a week off. I spent a few days in Nouakchott to get visas for Mali and just generally chill out in air conditioned hotel rooms. After that, we went to Atar for a belated Cinqo de Mayo party. One of our regionmates had 5 bottles of tequila sent over from the States, someone else made a blobby looking pinata, and a real live Mexican came! I'd say it was pretty authentic.

Like I said, I just got home. I chased a camel spider around my room, then decided that instead of unpacking and/or picking up the wreckage left behind when I left the house at 7 in the morning, I should update my blog! The hot season has officially arrived and with it, a number of ways to keep my mind off the fact that I'm sweating out water faster than I can piss.

I have developed an intimate relationship with my bath bucket. I use it at least twice a day to completely drench myself, fully clothed, and often just sit in it in an effort to preserve water. My bucket is the only thing that makes me feel remotely human between the hours of 12 and 4 PM.

I spend an inordinate amount of time examining what I've decided are mouse poops. I have never actually seen a mouse in my house, but these tiny little poops have started appearing lately and I can only assume they come from tiny little sand gnomes or mice. One of a long list of Mauritanian Mysteries.

My current reading list consists of the following: Happiness by Mattieu Ricard (geneticist turned Buddhist monk - still working on it, Mom), Rogue States by Noam Chomsky (rogue linguist, philosopher and political scientist), News of a Kiddnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Power Rules by Leslie Gelb (apparently the foreign policy establishment just needs to use a little common sense), Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling (I'm refreshing my memory for the movie), and Micro-Finance and Economic Empowerment: Women's Cooperatives in Nigeria by Chineze Onyejekwe. I haven't made it halfway through a single one of these books, mostly because I currently have the attention span of an ADD three year old.

I've also decided to take up the guitar. Achieving this goal will be slightly problematic due to the fact that I don't actually have a guitar, but I spent two days fiddling around on Chelsea's and I'm optimistic. The first two songs we worked on were Since You Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson and Apologize by Timbaland. I think if I can nail those two I'll have a pretty decent repetoir.

I have come to the conclusion that in another life (in which I had style and upper body strength), I was a break dancer. This realization was sparked when I watched the complete season 3 of America's Best Dance Crew in a single 6 hour sitting and only grew stronger when I watched Planet B-Boy (break dancing documentary). I recommend seeing both, but go with ABDC first cause it'll only be disappointing after seeing the moves they pull in the documentary. Myself and a few regionmates are currently putting together our own, albeit slightly modified, break dance routine. Don't expect fireworks, but we're pushing boundaries. It's not about skill, its about self-expression. Freak the dream!

Other movies I've see recently: Religulous, which I definitely recommend (unless you're offended by the paragraph titled People Who Don't Believe in Evolution but Love Antibiotics in this article). In the past week, I've also been introduced to Eastbound and Down, the new HBO series staring Danny McBride, watched the complete 4 and 5 seasons of Entourage, Traitor, He's Just Not That Into You, a Star Trek: the Next Generation movie, most of season 2 of Arrested Development, Yes Man, and part of Home Alone.

I've been so productive, can't you tell? I'll pretty much do anything right now, as long as it helps pass the time. Luckily, work ethic in this country is even lower than usual from May through September, so I'm just being culturally appropriate. Only two more weeks til school is out, the GMC is closed, and I'm heading off to Mali!


Julia said...

You need to watch LOST too!! MISS YOUU sweetie!!!

Estefania said...

Hey sweets,

The scenario you just described sounds exactly like the kind of scenario I wish I could escape to. Seriously.

Back in MoCo, people still obsess about things that won't matter tomorrow, honk at each other like crazy on the Pike, act moderately melancholic despite the 2304873204873 commodities we enjoy and should be grateful for, and otherwise find ways to maintain a semi-discontent state. I had to pinch myself today- I felt like an alien who wanted to break out in song and laughter in the midst of so much absurdity. This description, coming from the girl who is overwhelmingly an optimist.

Keep smiling, keep laughing, keep taking deep breaths and enjoying the sunsets, keep reading, keep being silly and above all, continue enjoying life. Do it for you- do it for me. S'il te plait ma cherie!

Miss you loads, and can't wait to get together with you to just kick back, grab a drink, share stories, and laugh at the unbearable lightness of MoCo beings.

Adam Phillips said...


I'm hoping 30 Rock is on the list of TV shows to watch during your time off...

it sounds like you are keeping busy with travel and such...hope all is well and keep it up...we all miss you!