Nouakchott Stories and Tips


Mauritanian veil Photo, Nouakchott, Mauritania

While in the market a teenage boy offered to help us get good prices; we were suspicious, but he was friendly and did prove helpful. Afterwards he invited us home for lunch and we enjoyed lunch with him and three of his friends. During the lunch he promised us that a friend of his was getting married and that we were invited. We agreed to meet up later that night at out hotel. That night the 4 guys met us at our hotel, told us there was a change of plans due to a car accident involving the bride-to-be, and we went to another wedding, the wedding of the richest man in Mauritania. One boy's father, a policeman providing security, snuck us in. AMAZING. The men and women were separate. Long tables of food, hundreds of water bottles and huge platters of meat (in a country of starving people). Courtyards of Islamic designs. Streams and water fountains in the desert. Dancing and women singing. Opulence galore. Everyone was friendly and very curious. We ate and drank and then left before we were figured out. All of us women were veiled in the local clothes to avoid suspicion, and we kept our blue eyes downcast much of the time. We caught a public bus home to the hotel. Wonderful night. Beautiful weather, not too hot. And the funny thing is that a man we had met earlier, who drove us around the city free one day, came to out hotel before the wedding and helped all us women get dressed in the local clothes properly (has to be wrapped just so). No one wanted anything from us, just to welcome us and show us a good time in Mauritania.

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