Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wedding season in Morocco!

Hello everyone! I am sorry for the long wait and I appreciate everyone who has still been checking up on me and seeing if anything new has been posted. These past few weeks have been a real whirlwind for me! I spent my fourth of july in Agadir with some other pcv’s. We rented out a house and cooked some amazing American meals there. I can’t get enough of the ocean. Although I had a wonderful time in Agadir, the travel to and from was very frustrating. We tried to take the 4am bus, but we were told that the bus was full. So we ended up taking a taxi all the way there, which is long and uncomfortable. And I wanted to be back in my site by Monday for a wedding, but there were no taxis going to my site, so I had to spend the night in tata city and miss the wedding. It wasn’t all bad though because when I got back to site, I went to an Ahawaj, which is basically a dance concert. Ahawaj s are a big deal here. I borrowed one of my Aunt’s dresses and I had a white dress to wear there. I met the family of the bride and I ate dinner with some new women who travelled to here. I feel like my family uses me to get meat from the meal. After the meal, we watched the ahawaj until 5 in the morning. It was such a drain. I was so tired the whole next day. Then I went to another ahawaj that night. That one didn’t get over until 6am. It is a great way to meet people, but I am just not used to staying up so late.

My host father is home on vacation now. He is really nice and a very generous person. He knows French really well and also knows Arabic as well as tashlheit.

I am finally in my home! It has been quite an adjustment for all of us. I’ve had a lot of guests come and check up on me. I am also adjusting to not having water in my house either. I have to fetch water everyday. I walk with my neighbors with these big bottles and treat my water with bleach when I get home. My neighbors say that the water is good to drink, but I don’t want to take any chances J. People here are not at all used to the idea of someone being alone, so I think it will take a little bit for them to understand that I am fine by myself. I also got some “lessons” on the meals here . I’m not suppose to eat pasta for lunch because it isn’t filling enough; I should eat it for breakfast or dinner. And I’m not suppose to eat lentils for dinner because it is heavy and makes it hard to sleep. I made lentils for dinner anyway, but I didn’t tell anyone. It is also difficult to get by without eating bread here. Even when I tell people that I don’t need to eat bread with my lentils, they give me tons anyway. And when I told my family that I ate watermelon for breakfast, they laughed at me! It is so funny to me how set in their ways Moroccans tend to be.

I really like my home. I have a wonderfully big bed and and great fridge. I really don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a fridge for cold water. It is a nice luxury.

I’ve reached the point in my service where I am truly on my own in my community. I am living in my own house, having to cook for myself, clean after myself, and do my best to not be a hermit J My house is coming along quite nicely: I have three rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. All pcv’s who are not here as a married couple are given 5,000 D to purchase furnishings for their new homes. My big purchases were a fridge and a bed. And then after buying furnishings for my kitchen that I need to at least survive in my house, I quickly ran out of money. I have no chairs, no table, and no shelves yet. Hopefully within the next 6 months or so I will be able to make my house a decent home.

I want to tell you about weddings here. There are TONS of weddings in the summer time. I don’t quite know if I understand the whole ceremony, but I’ll do my best to explain what I have observed. So the whole wedding ceremony lasts about a week. On the first day, the women of the town all sit in a circle and sing songs, then from the roof-top of the house, someone sends down three baskets of barley, wheat, and corn. The women sort through the barley while singing and place it in a metal pot. They then top it off with some wheat and corn and someone takes it into the house to cook it. After the left-over grains are picked up, it turns into a huge dance party with drumming, chanting, and really awesome dancing. The following days are just dance-filled eating festivals. The women let me eat with them, even though I’m not married. After about an hour of dancing and drumming, they bring out a bunch of small tables that we gather around. There are usually four courses and they have been slightly different each time I have participated. The first course is usually a beef tajine, but sometimes it is couscous too. The second course is most likely another meat dish, like a chicken tajine topped with French fries. The third course is a sweet pasta dish called sfah. It is small spaghetti noodles with powdered sugar, crushed peanuts, and sometimes raisins. The last course is fruit, usually watermelon (Dllah) and honeydew melon (shlah). The dinner is usually around 8 or 9 pm, and then there is another music concert that starts at around 11 or 12am and doesn’t end until 5 or 6 in the morning!! It has been nice to participate in all of the festivities, but they are so tiring!! I am scheduled to go to at least two more weddings before my conference in ourzazateJ

A few more weeks and it will be the month of Ramadan. For those of you who don’t know of it, Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting. From the time that the sun comes up to sunset,

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bjai!!! It sounds like you're having a fantastic time in Morocco. I'm so jealous, but it's awesome to hear about all the cool stuff you're doing!