Robb Warfield

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Robb Warfield
Flag of Mauritania.svg
Country Mauritania
Years: 1996-1998
Site(s) Boghe
Region(s) Daghveg
Program(s) Agriculture
Assignment(s) Forestrywarning.png"Forestry" is not in the list of possible values (Agroforestry, Sustainable Agricultural Science, Farm Management and Agribusiness, Animal Husbandry, Municipal Development, Small Business Development, NGO Development, Urban and Regional Planning, Primary Teacher/Training, Secondary Teacher/Training, Math/Science Teacher/Training, Special Education/Training, Deaf/Education, Vocational Teacher/Training, University Teacher/Training, English Teacher/Training (TEFL), Environmental Education, National Park Management, Dry Land Natural Resource Conservation, Fisheries Fresh, Ecotourism Development, Coastal /Fisheries Resource Management, Public Health Education, AIDS Awareness, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Water and Sanitation Resources Engineering, Housing Construction Development, Youth, Other) for this property.
Robb Warfield started in Mauritania 1996
Kevin Baladad, Robert Dorion, Robb Warfield
Region: Daghveg
Robb Warfield
Agriculture in Mauritania:Agriculture.gif
Brad Clinehens, Liz Kenton, Robb Warfield
Other Volunteers who served in Mauritania
Flag of Mauritania.svg
Kevin Baladad, Brad Clinehens, Robert Dorion, Grant Hale, Emmanuela Jeune, Jessica Kane, Liz Kenton, Olivier Paris-Leclerc, Erin Pettigrew, Kathleen M. Shannon, Robb Warfield
Projects in Mauritania
Flag of Mauritania.svg
Bicycle Repair Class, Gardening Improvement, Girls' Basketball Court and Team, School Improvements
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After three months of training in the local language (Hassiyna) I was to live in a village of Black Moors at the edge of the Sahara desert for two years. I vividly remember the Peace Corp vehicle dropping me off and for the next two years I was for the most part on my own. I shared a mud hut with a family of eight in a village that had no running water or electricity and not even a single latrine. I was always surrounded by people but at first with the language barrier I was intensely lonely as well. As the village was made up of the poorest ethnic group hunger was constant. I was amazed by what we ate and the monotony of it. The heat was at times almost unbearable and sickness such as diarrhea was constant (I did not have a solid stool for an entire year). For the first time I witnessed hunger and death due to lack of resources.

I came to love the family I shared a mud hut with as we spent endless hours together, working the fields, waterproofing the hut with manure, building a latrine for me, and hanging out every evening under the stars. Therefore the first time we ran out of food I saw them not as hungry Africans but as brothers, sisters and friends. The pain of watching babies not able to get breast milk from their malnourished mother’s breasts brought home the injustice of the world. After a particular instance of watching my little brother beg for some rotten crackers after not eating for a day I screamed at God, furious that he would allow such horror. While I never received any answers, it was at some of the times I felt his presence the most.

One of the events that struck me the struck me occurred while I was out in a remote area of the county conducting an assessment with a team of Peace Corps volunteers to consider doing a project there. I went out for a jog early in the morning and got lost. After running/walking for eight hours I became delirious with thirst. I stumbled into a village that gave me some water to drink and then I took off again as I was afraid of getting kicked out of Peace Corps ( If I was gone for a day protocol told the group that they were to contact the military to search for me and I would automatically be discharged). At three in the morning I hit the “wall” and my legs refused to move, I was exhausted and I still had no idea were I was. I prayed in desperation and an hour later remarkably a car (I knew it had to be a Peace Corps car as there were very few cars in this area) appeared. I prayed for it to stop. It did. However, the car was at least a mile away. I screamed, somehow I was able to run again and I made it to the Peace Corps vehicle. A friend who was an agnostic told me they were heading to the nearest place they could radio for help to find me but that he heard a voice in his head telling him to stop the car. Without that car stopping I realized as did my other Peace Corps team mates that I might have died.

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