Monday, August 10, 2009

oh crap.

10 August 2009

Dear beloved friends and family,

It has been wonderful corresponding with you all through email over the past 13 months, sharing my experiences with you and hearing your reactions has been such a rewarding part of all of this for me. I have missed you all dearly but i never could have done what i have been doing without your support and understanding and love. With that said i would like to give you the latest bit of bad news in a string of bad new-es...after a few security threats came to light on friday (confidential, they can't even tell me) and then suicide bombing in nouakchott on saturday night (that didn't kill anyone but the bomber himself in case you're worried) the United States Peace Corps has decided to suspend the program starting immediatly and continuing indefinitely. What does this mean? First that i am very very sad, we all are, i have cried a great deal all ready and i used up all my phone credit so i can't even call my parents of my host family until i go out and buy more but when i do i will cry some more. As long as we are continuing our career with peace corps we are forbidden from traveling in, passing through, or visiting mauritania at all. I have many options ahead of me, exactly what they are i will find out tomorrow morning in detail but they involve transfering to a different program, completeing my service and leaving, signing up for peace corps response, or interrupting my service, leaving the option to return open if the program reopens. I don't know what i'll do yet but i will know by friday because thats all the time i have to decide. This bomb was dropped on me just about an hour ago and i don't even really know how to process it yet but i will say this, i respect the decision of the peace corps, i will respect their wishes and not return to mauritania, but i want everyone to know completely and truly that this has nothing to do with mauritanians as a people, nor does it have anything to do with muslims, this is because of an outside threat that has been brought to the attention of peace corps. The director of peace corps herself, Jody Olsen, came here to break the news to us and she is a huge supporter of the mauritania program and told us how much our relationships and families mean to us and it was obviously very hard for her to break this news to us, so i can completely respect the peace corps side of things, and i know you all will too.

I know you will all be supportive to me in whatever capacity i choose to continue or discontinue my peace corps service and i hope you all know how much this has meant to me. Start planning my welcome home party, i could be out of here as early as friday and i want to see you all as soon as possible! Ann, tubing? Becky...i'll pay for half your flight up if you can come see me...Mom and Dad call me! i ran out of phone credit...i want to talk to you! Cory...thank you for everything! and i mean everything! all the packages, the harddrives, the phone calls, the support, the everything, you are the best brother imaginable and i know you had more to send and were going to keep supporting me through it all and it was your birthday even when we were talking about it so i just wanted to say thank you and i love you and thank you!

I love you allllllllllllllllllllll with all my heart, see you all so soon i can't even believe it. I have been evacuated. crap.



Liz said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this. Good luck in whatever direction you decide to go next, and I hope everyone gets home safely. PC/Mauritania seemed like a really amazing group of people, and I'm sad that we never got to meet!

Liz (formerly of RIM 2009)

Brett Heimann said...

Ditto to what Liz said. I have been following your guys’ blogs, and this seems like an impossible situation to go through. Get home safe and hug the ones you love. You all deserve every bit of praise and support you receive from all that give it to you.

Brett (RIM Reject 2009)

Tonya said...

Thank you Shelby for sharing your great adventures with all of us. Good luck in your new endeavours!
Brandon Forester's mother