June 1, 2014

The school year is wrapping up here, students are feeling the pressure of upcoming exams, and I can’t decide if things are slowing down or speeding up.

Work-wise, things did slow down considerably for me over the past few weeks, only because I got the chance to take my first real vacation since arriving in Morocco in January 2013. I flew off to the Netherlands to meet my mom, dad, sister, and a number of super wonderful and awesome Dutch relatives. Happy tears were shed, cheese was eaten in embarrassing amounts, bikes were ridden, tentative plans for a Dutch close of service trip were made. Mostly I was grateful for the chance to be around the people who are the most important to me in the world, after having only Skype and Facebook chat communication over the past year and a half. It was more than a bit difficult to get on that plane back to Morocco, but now that I’m here, I’m ready to go for the rest of my service and it’s going to be epic.

Thankfully no time to sit and dwell on the post-vacation blues. Today was the final meeting for a course my friend Mounia and I have been teaching since January. Well, she has been teaching it. I’ve been assisting.

The program is from the International Youth Foundation, and is called Passport to Success. It covers basic skills like listening, communicating, goal setting, resolving conflict, and self confidence, as well as AIDS awareness, gender-based violence, and job skills like writing a CV and being a good team player. Many of these skills are not taught by the educational system here, but are something youth recognize are needed and desired. Youth who successfully complete the course are awarded with a certificate, which is used in a portfolio when applying for jobs.

We finished today by chatting about the program, what they enjoyed about it, what they thought could be improved for the next group. Most of the students commented on how much they had enjoyed the collection of people itself, finding friends with people who they may only have known in passing before. I was very impressed by how interested the students were in the program and how much of their time they were willing to dedicate to it.

Up next is a girls’ camp organized by Liz, speaking at the new stage (training group) In-Service Training, planning for another two summer camps, English classes. Ramadan will happen in July. For now, time to relax.

Categories: In site, Morocco | Leave a comment

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