Nouadhibou, Mauritania

Mohammed could just get his line in the water before another fish seized on his bait. He threw back this baby shark.

Mauritania makes the majority of its money from fishing by licensing fishing rights to Russia and Europe - not from licensing Mauritanian boats or fishermen.

Mauritania profits from fishing and iron ore so on our first day, we tried fishing in the Atlantic off Nouadhibou. We paid US$7.50 per person for half day of fishing (including rods, bait, boat and much-needed guide).

12 March 2000 - After taking the military convoy into Mauritania, we were required to register our car with the police. Jim went into the office to do this while I sat outside on the ground with local children swarming around me. One little girl, who looked to be about four years old and to have never brushed her teeth, carried a baby on her hip like a young mother would. All the children were barefoot. They asked over and over again in French for a gift. They sat extremely close to me just looking and sometimes touching. I'm learning that what I would term poverty is a way of living for others. I can want better for them, but I cannot pity them. This is life.


  Nouadhibou (Jim)