One week down and not enough to go, it seems, before we get our final site announcements. Often training seems quite long, but then I think we only have 10 or so weeks to learn how to function in Morocco and it seems like there could never be enough time to be ready. But things are going well, I think.
We’ve only been with our host families for a week, and only started learning Darija (Moroccan Arabic) two weeks ago, so no wonder I still have very little idea what is being said to me and around me. I am, however, getting better at picking words I do know out of conversations, so even though I don’t know what is being said, not all of it sounds like a random stream of consonants. Luckily many people in my community also speak at least a bit of French, so I do my best to get by in Darija and then switch to French if I need to communicate something important. And by “get by in Darija” I really mean saying the one or two vocabulary words I can remember when they seem applicable to the situation. Speaking in sentences is something that continues to elude me, but I think we get to learn some verbs soon, which will make life much happier.
Today and half of tomorrow, we are in the city of Fes for our first group training, called a HUB. Fes is really European-looking to me, and we got a bit of a chance to walk around today, which was nice. The weather has changed from rain to gloriously hot sun, while the inside of houses remain cold enough to see your breath when you exhale. Seriously, I need to start wearing sunscreen because I’ve been getting burnt. And, when the sky is clear, you can see these gorgeous snow-capped mountains from the top of the hill in my town.
On a less fun note, I’ve also experienced my first bout of gastrointestinal distress. Happily, I’ve been in possession of toilet paper. No worries and I hope everyone is doing great!