It may be Labor Day and the end of summer for you guys in America this weekend, but summer is still going strong here in Morocco. The weather in T– decided to get hot this week, which is an unpleasant turn of events, but as the rest of the summer was much more bearable temperature-wise than last summer, I won’t complain too much.
This summer, as it turns out, was nothing like last summer. Last summer, work was non-existent, the weather was hot, and I spent a lot of time in the house. This summer, as much as I was looking forward to getting wrapped up in some personal projects (like getting ahead in my 2014 reading challenge on Goodreads), I had work. Ramadan was taken up by Dar Chabab activities (not successful) and a superamazingletsdoitagain trip to Italy with my friend Leah (very successful). Most of August was spent at a Moroccan-organized day camp. September will be full of meetings and planning and doing grad school applications. And some paperwork for Peace Corps (can’t forget about the VRF – our twice-a-year required reporting).
Moral of the story – much of this summer was spent doing work that wasn’t successful, which after a pretty successful school year had me in a bit of a slump. No one in my site wants to do activities during Ramadan. One person can’t change basic/rampant flaws within an organization in a 20-day period. Even with a year and a half of speaking Darija, people still have trouble understanding me/attempt to converse entirely through mime, which is frustrating because I know they’re not trying to understand me even a fraction of the amount I am trying to be understood.
Good news is, the school year starts mid-September, which means my regular awesome Dar Chabab kids will be back and I will be in control of the activities I undertake (for the most part). Huzzah!
The high point of my summer was definitely going to Italy with Leah. It was 14 days of eating every type of cheese we could find, getting a crash course in Catholicism, and taking lots of selfies. We started with 5 days in Rome, then hit Matera, Naples (and Pompeii), Siena, Orvieto, and then a last day in Rome before our early flight back to Marrakech. Although I loved loved loved every part of the trip, I think Matera was my favorite by a slim margin, just because it was so old feeling. Like more old than Rome, which is pretty old. The pizza in Naples was so good that one night we went to two different pizza places for dinner. We met awesome family friends of Leah’s and ate gelato with abandon. Sometimes twice a day. No regrets in that department. Except maybe that I didn’t have gelato three times a day.
The strangest news is that we have the dates for our Close of Service conference. COSing is the end, you’re done. The conference comes roughly three or four months before we leave the country, and for us will be in January. My next week is going to be dedicated to filling out grad school applications. I have about twenty grand schemes for awesome things I want to do in my site and feeling more and more like I need a third year to accomplish them all. But seven and a half months is all I have left. It’s weirdly time to start thinking about returning to the US.