The handicapped roundabout

There is one roundabout in Nouakchott that stands out from the rest. In the middle of the road among all the cars going in all different directions; a man without legs, holding his hands out for money. On the sides of the road there are people in wheelchairs, with strange diseases, one boy with half his face hanging down the skin being three times the size of his head.

In Mauritania there is no system that pays for you. The state give no money to disabled or sick people, if you can’t work you rely on your family, neighbours and other people to give you money, food and clothes. And it works. If you have no food some day you eat with your neighbour, and when you have food the neighbour eats with you. Everyone share what they have, and it fits perfectly with the visitors I had a couple of days ago; the two girls who just stepped inside for a visit.

Everyone is very friendly here and I am so happy I went here. Though I’m still not sure why I actually came, but I’m glad I did. I don’t want to leave and have to keep reminding myself that there will be more adventures waiting around the corner in east Africa.


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