First time to see the Atlantic!
So it has been a little over two weeks in my site and things are starting to have a slower and slower pace. We are still working out transportation in and out of our site. hopefully we will be able to find better contacts that we can call upon. We are starting to develop a rapport with the taxi owners around town, so that helps a lot. Because my site is so far from the main road, I have to bike or walk to the my souk town that is on the paved road that the cars drive down, about 8km away from my home. The main problem is that not a lot of people travel a lot to my nearest major city, and they only will go if they have a full taxi (6 people). It is either a long wait or we pay for all of the seats, which is a lot of money.
I’m still getting used to my family and how everything works. I am starting to really feel the cultural differences as far as sense of time goes. I have many an awkward feeling when I am just sitting down with them for hours at a time while they work on spinning their wool or making these really neat bread containers called “agunins”. But just sitting down and listening to them speak really helps me out. I tried to spin wool, but it takes some getting used to. It is amazing to see the whole proccess of how things are made. Once they shave the wool off, they wash it, let it dry, pick through it for debris, brush it, then spin it. Then they will use it to make blankets. How cool!
I went to my first “sobey” which is a baby-naming ceremony. There is a ton of dancing, music, songs, and food. And it is all of the women in the town that are there. No men allowed! I am determined to learn at least one song and play the drum by the time summer is over. There are a lot of pregnancies and births in my site, so I should be able to get a lot of practice in.
I took my first trip to Agade this weekend and swam in the Atlantic Ocean!! Agade is a nice city, but it is a little too big for me. It is nice to get a break from the religiously driven cultural norms and wear shorts and short sleeves. There are also a McDonalds and a Pizza Hut there too. Not my cup of tea, but the other volunteers were so happy!! The beach was fantastic!! The only annoying part was all of the solicitors walking by every few minutes asking us if we want to jet ski, use an umbrella, and by expensive food and jewelry. Other than that, it was so great! I definitely got my fill of sun… too much in fact, because my back is so sore from burns! I won’t see the ocean again for a while so I guess it is worth it. There is also a supermarket equivalent to Wal-Mart here. Marjan is sinful. You can buy flat screen TV’s, laptops, patio furniture, Oreos, good lotion! It is really expensive though, so it can be dangerous if you don’t keep track of what you are buying. It really makes me excited for my house though J