Thursday, January 28, 2010

Training, Being French and Married

Currently listening to: Kings of Leon - Only By The Night

We will gone for about two weeks from my site because we have some training that the Peace Corps puts on. They are teaching us more about teaching and all kinds of other sessions. I have mixed feelings about going because it seems like we are just starting to figure out what we are doing here and now we have to leave. I am truly excited to get some more tools under my belt to be able to teach more effectively. Sometimes I just feel lost walking into a classroom not really knowing what I am suppose to do when I get there.

It will be super great to see all of the people from my "stagee" (group) and discuss with them what has been successful and what didn't work with teaching or community entry amongst other things. Also, it will be great to let my guard down and by myself for a few days :)

Some things I want to do when I am there:

-I hope to visit my host family when we training in the city of Ifrane.
-I want to visit Fez because I haven't made it there yet and I hear it's beautiful.

Some Thoughts:

-People yell out "bon jour" (pardon my french) in the streets at us. It used to really bother me like I was losing my identity as an American or something but now I realize that most of the people that say it are just try to be nice. So in turn I just say bon jour back. It makes everyone happy (including me).

-Being married in Morocco seems to gain you a little respect amongst the people here. I am not for sure exactly why but people get so excited when you tell them that you are married.

-Also being married I believe makes it harder to integrate with the children you are suppose to be developing. I assume they think I am an adult so they can't be themselves around me. At least this is what I have heard.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beggers, Couscous and Call to Prayer

Hello my great readers.

Every time I post I intend to post a few thoughts. As of right now I am drinking a Twinning's Indian Spiced Chai and enjoying life. Today is a great day of having other women PCV's over to talk about a woman's wellness workshop. These times are always good times to check up on each other eat amazing food! Almost all PCV's are pretty great. Now if I can just understand the people of Morocco everything would be awesome!

Random Thoughts:

-Being lost and whimsical in this culture is part of growing. This is exactly what I wanted but after a while the "fun factor" wears off and you just feel lost.

-Beggars in this town are ruthless. One followed me all the way from the taxi stand and I could not get him away. At one moment I thought I was going to get in fist fight with one of his friends but they were under 16 so I was not intimidated, just frustrated.

-Couscous is something that most Moroccans eat on Friday's. Families come together for this meal and eat it out of a communal tangine. Most of the time men of the family eat in one room and the women eat in another. Even the word for Friday is very similar to the word meeting in Arabic. It is just sort of worked in the culture because the language the goes hand in hand.

-Call to prayer is 5 times a day. Before I arrived to this country I thought people stopped wherever they were and prayed. Most of the people I have ran into do not pray right away. The call to prayer is more like a reminder to pray as soon as you can.

Thanks for following :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Richard Ashcroft

Richard Ashcroft might not be a household name in America but in Britain that is another story. Mad Richard (as some call him) is formally the ex-frontman of The Verve one of the greatest British rock bands. Anyways all that to say that he is back again, this time with a new band called the United Nations of Sound (not the best name for a band). They are coming out with a new album in March for now they released a new video and song from the upcoming album. The song is called "Are You Ready?" and if it any indication of what the CD will be like then it will probably be playing on my Ipod for a long time. If you are interested check out the new video here:

Are You Ready?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Community, Cooking, French, Kids and Religion

I have been a Peace Corps volunteer for close to a two months now. I hope that this blog gives you an idea of some of the things I am experiencing here in Morocco.

A few thoughts:

-Community is important here and everyone knows your business (sometimes before you do)
-Kids are kids anywhere you go. Here it is a progression to slowness with boys. From going crazy everyday doing things that mothers in America might discipline their child for like jumping on the back of moving trucks. Then they get old and stand on street corners just talking. Then a little bit later in life they end up in cafes watching football matches. Slower and slower.
-Cooking takes a lot longer here because we have to make everything from scratch but that is not a bad thing.
-The French language is very important here and I feel disadvantaged because I do not know it
-Religion is a big deal to most of the people here in Morocco, but most people here cannot understand the religious text they are following. (It is in a different type of Arabic.)

Much love and more to come.

Thanks for following me :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Tuesday was a great day! I had my Beginner’s English class at the Women’s Center and I’m at about 12-15 women and girls each day. We went over the months and words like ‘month’, ‘day’, ‘year’ and then I gave them some ways to use these words in a sentence.

After I finished class I met up with the Small Business Volunteer from the nearest town, Joy, and we worked on learning how to use a foot powered sewing machine. I think we got the hang of it by the end. I sewed up one side of a purse that I am working on.

Hopefully the end result will be good. Joy and I got the fabric at a ‘Ponj’ shop, which is like a couch shop. So it is pretty thick material. We are hoping to come up with a good pattern that the women at our Women’s Centers will be able to create and sell on their own. All of the female volunteers in my area are getting together at my house to do some planning for a Women’s Wellness Workshop to train a few women from each center to teach Aerobics and health related issues. I don’t yet have an aerobics class but I am hoping that the director of my center will know a couple of women that would be interested to do a class with me. I’m really looking forward to this meeting and hope it goes well.
After leaving the Women’s Center I went home and made lunch (always a long ordeal). Then Matt and I went to the Dar Chebab (Youth Center). We had a Beginner’s class of 14 today. I’m really excited because when we first started we were just getting like 1 or 2 kids showing up. It’s hard to teach a class with 2 kids in it.
I think that my language is really picking up I feel much more confident speaking Darija and have more fluency. It’s exciting to have a conversation in another language. After 4 months in Morocco I already speak way better than my Spanish after 4 years in high school. Though sometimes people do try to speak to me in Spanish. (Morocco is very close to Spain.)
Well now I need to do some shopping. I’m our of peppers.