May 12, 2013

Happy happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is 1) a lady and 2) is somehow involved in a child’s life! Being over here in Morocco, one of the biggest things I miss about the United States on a daily basis is being able to hug my mom, so if you’re able to hug your mom today, please give her an extra one for me. Or if you can hug my mom within the next couple days, please do that, too. Just make sure you tell her it’s from me, otherwise she might be confused.

Anyway, life is chugging along here in Morocco. Hot temperatures have returned to us here in T–. I think we’re in for summer for real at this point. Today it was a bit cooler, like 85, rather than mid-90s like it was yesterday. Discussions on our Peace Corps Facebook group have turned to how to keep your electronics from melting. Luckily we are getting a fridge soon… more on that later.

Sunset is a lovely time of day.

Sunset is a lovely time of day.

Liz and I have had a busy weekend. Saturday we traveled by taxi about 15 minutes to the next town over to visit one of our Moroccan friends. She’s pretty awesome – a university student who worked with us at Spring English Camp. She works as a personal trainer at a gym in her town, takes martial arts classes and is really active at her Dar Chebab. Saturday evening they held a poetry reading for students and teachers, complete with stage lighting, musical acts and fog machines. It was pretty awesome. The poetry was all in Standard Arabic, so I understood even less of it than I normally would have, but everyone did an amazing job with their presentations and readings.

After the reading, we went to her house, changed really quickly and went with her to a late-night full-contact kickboxing class. The class was mostly guys, but there were a couple other girls, besides us. They have all been training for a while and are all pretty good at kicking people in the head and such as you do in kickboxing. Liz and I muddled along as best we could, but I wouldn’t want to mess with any of those Moroccans. They’re pretty legit.

Then this morning it was up early to get back into town in time to make it to our local ACCESS Program. The ACCESS Program is organized by the U.S. Embassy and the Moroccan Association of Teachers of English, and gives underprivileged youth the chance to get extra English lessons on Sundays. Today their cultural activity was kickball and Liz and I did our best to teach the game and after a couple innings I think they were starting to get the hang of it. I think they prefer soccer and basketball though.

Me and a tajine.

Me and a tajine.

After the game, we were invited for a super delicious chicken tajine lunch.

This week our regional manager, kind of like our Peace Corps boss, came to visit to check up on us (to see if we’re still alive and sane I’m pretty sure – don’t worry, both are true) and to bring us some extra supplies. First we sat for a while talking about what Liz and I had accomplished so far, how we were adjusting to our life here and what our hopes for the immediate future were. Then we got to unload the van. Not only did he bring us several reams of paper to use, but also a load of books from the amazing Peace Corps library, letters from home, and a bike for me! It was very much like Christmas and I’ve already done a couple bike rides, one all the way around the city walls, which I’ve been wanting to do since I got here. The bike is probably the nicest I will ever own and I’m planning on making very good use of it.

Second Christmas is coming up soon, because we will be getting our furniture. Another volunteer who is closing her service is allowing us to take over her items, and Wednesday our awesome apartment will become even more awesome because we will have chairs to sit on instead of overturned buckets. Also kitchen equipment.

All the cooking we will be doing will likely begin to counteract the daily exercise routine I have started for myself. Whatever. It’s worth it.

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