Training has been busy, coupled with the fact that 96 Americans attempting to use the hotel’s WIFI network at once leads to things crashing repeatedly, I have not been online much at all. But today we had the full day off and after walking around for the morning, I’m digesting lunch and relaxing in the room while most of the others are out sightseeing.
Since arriving, our days are a long stream of language lessons (which are awesome, by the way), vaccinations and Peace Corps training where we talk about our roles as volunteers and how to start clubs and poop. Actually, we haven’t talked about poop yet, but tomorrow is our session on gastrointestinal issues. Get excited.
Language lessons, what they are calling “survival language” at this point, are taught by Moroccans, many of them in their 20s, known as our language and culture facilitators. We have been split into small groups of five or six, the same groups we will be in for our community-based training, which will be the first 10 weeks of our service. Those facilitators are provided with a house in the same community our host families live in and we will meet with them for about eight hours a day doing all language.
So far my group has learned greetings, how to say “I am a Peace Corps volunteer,” numbers up to 10, how to say where we are from, simple stuff that I find very hard to remember, particularly if I actually have to speak to someone.
Also, Becky, I still haven’t found the Moroccan equivalent of “jin-jin” but if you want to say “It’s no problem,” you say “mooshi mooshkil.”
Besides trying to communicate with less language skill than a 1-year-old, I have also found out my training community! My group is being placed in a town of about 20,000 up in the mountains! Each small group is put into smaller communities around larger cities, so we get the small community experience and also experience with larger cities, which we will have to go to for some training sessions.
Today we had the day off from training, so I went with a bunch of other Americans to wander around Rabat, which is the capital of Morocco. We went into the medina, which is the walled section of the city and houses the market, as well as the beach.
We still have a few days in Rabat, but I’m so excited to go to our host families. Being in the hotel with everyone else (each of whom are awesome individuals) makes the trip so far feel a bit like a school trip and I’m anxious for the real training to begin! Thanks to everyone for the good thoughts! I’m missing you all and I hope you are well!