Excerpts from this excellent blog
I’m rambling at this point, and I have a lot more I’ve been thinking about, but I‘ll get into all this in another post: how the culture stands in direct opposition in certain respects to our idea of development, and whether or not it’s worth changing or losing parts of that culture (or even possible) in the name of development. Also, focusing on something like girl’s education when they’re not even getting enough nutritional value out of their food to grow hair, for example.
Of course, girls’ education is invaluable in terms of women‘s rights, and promoting women in development is one of the most efficient ways of promoting development itself, since educated and empowered women are that much more capable of contributing to society. In reality, though, I’m not under the impression I’m going to be shaking the foundation of gender roles in Mauritanian society over the next two years. The big gain out of this experience is going to be mine, and the biggest impact I’ll have on my village will be the little exposure to another culture my being there will provide.