Thursday, February 25, 2010

PPST, The New Group, Language, and Confusion

Sorry my faithful followers. I have been away for a couple of weeks and I have not had the energy to update anything. I have been in a city near Ifrane for training for what they call PPST (Post Pre Service Training). This is a training consisting of some training on technical things such as teaching, camps, clubs and associations. All that was great but it was better to speak with other volunteers about their different experiences. I am truly surprised that people had so many different experiences. It is great to take these experiences to heart and be able to use them like they are my own. Now it is great to be home.

I read a lot of blogs on I must admit that I find it funny reading the incoming group blogs that will be leaving to be at staging in two days. The reason why I find it funny because I remember the feelings I had before I came here. Feelings of adventure, making a difference in the world, going to some far away land, excitement, and doubts.

After being here for just about 6 months in country I have some thoughts:

The language, in my opinion, is the hardest thing about the Peace Corps. If you consecrate hard on the language then most of the other stuff like culture, technical things just kind of fall into place.

I am utterly confused about what my job is here exactly. Youth Development is the title of my program but it is really broad of what my responsibilities are. Peace Corps Morocco seems to be pretty unstructured even with Health and Environment sectors its not so straight forward. Focus your energy to goals 2 and 3 while you figure out exactly your role in your community is going to be.

You will learn a lot about Americans. What is funny is before I came here I had a sheltered experience of life. People here in the Peace Corps are amazing but completely different than most people I knew back in the states. My point of view has been stretched by the differences of people. Get to know your group mates you'll love them.

The excitement will eventually wear off. All this mystery of adventure, world peace, and all of this will adventually come to a point to where everything around you is completely normal. Example: The other day I was walking to the Dar Chebab (Youth House) and along the way I heard a woman screaming. I looked up and a saw a woman running toward us and a man behind her completely naked. Completely naked! So after I saw him I said to my wife calmly, "Lets cross the street there is a naked man coming toward us." It was a little strange but I didn't even think anything of it until I thought about it later. Back in the states I would have felt completely weirded out but I think after being in a different country for so long you just kind of see it as the way it is. Everything is so different you sometimes wonder if you are watching a movie or living someone elses life. Excitement turns into weirdness. Weirdness sometimes turns into frustration. There has been times where I felt like I am tired of the Moroccan people. Then I come to understand this is just me. My worldview is just being tested everyday but after a while all these things become normal and its not so much an adventure anymore, just life.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

PPST, Camels, Technology

Quote of the day:
Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced - even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. - John Keats

Time from PPST (Post Pre Service Training) has been fun. It has been great to hang out with a lot of Americans. We are hear to learn things about clubs, associations, teaching and language. Our fellow PCV's are great! I am missing my own home and food. I am not looking forward to the 18 hour trip across the country! Way too long.


The stereotype about Moroccans riding is camels is not true. I have yet to see anyone riding a camel. Actually I have learned from my tutor that camels are considered unreliable and most would rather have a horse or donkey for transportation if one uses animals at all (which most don't). Most people here use taxis for transport.

Technology is very expensive here even for American standards especially with computers. Everything seems to be at least 10-15% more expensive. My thought is that when developing countries need to be developed but they cannot afford the technology how does the country develop.

Peace and Love