Donn’s been having a lot of lung problems lately—mostly difficulty breathing and a really irritating cough (irritating for him of course! I would never be so insensitive as to complain about something like that; no really!) So our dr. friend sent him to a local clinic for an x-ray.

His description:

I felt like I was going for an illegal abortion! First I had to go up a dark, dusty staircase to a dim office, where I paid. Then a man led me across a roof, down another staircase, along a narrow alleyway filled with cement blocks, and finally to a small room. “Are x-rays legal in this country?” I asked.

But, no, this was just an affordable-to-many option—it cost a grand total of $18, approximately. (PN disclaimer: I don’t do math. I round numbers with abandon! All numbers given are approximate) Thankfully, his lungs are clear so it’s not TB. So now what? Maybe athsma. He’s trying an inhaler. Or perhaps he has developed an allergy to dust, which would be unfortunate for someone living in the Dust Capital of the world.

Here on Planet Nomad, it’s been very windy lately. That’s what Nouakchott actually means; Place of Winds. I swear it “wuthers” round the house; I keep expecting to hear Heathcliff yelling “CATHY!” outside my window! Houses in Mauritania aren’t known for their stellar construction, and the doors rattle madly. Outside the donkeys howl and the dogs whine. The mosque goes off in my ear at 5 a.m. or so. But these are normal night noises. The wind has been cool, so I’m sleeping well these nights, while beneath the open window the sand softly forms a tiny dune.