Hi everyone! Merry belated Christmas and happy new year! I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying time with family and friends. Tata is a pretty nice place to spend the winter. The days stay around 80 and the nights don’t get below 50. But given that my house is made of cement it turns into a fridge that stays at 60 or so throughout the day. I have to put on warm clothes when I am inside the house. Work is going along pretty nicely. I’ve been teaching health lessons inside the schools every month and also at the sbitar. The principal told me that he wants to create a health and environment room to do lessons in. He wants all kinds of technology things like a tv, dvd, projector and what not. That may end up being my main project for the time being.
During the month of December I celebrated a holiday by climbing up a mountain! Not a very big one, but it was certainly a workout I’ve been doing a lot of biking these days a coupld of weeks agio I traveled to see some other PCVs. The total trip was about 44 miles and I did it in two days! It was really fun to bike around my site because I pass camel herds all the time.
Christmas and new years were very nice. I went to Tata and some other PCVs joined and we made nachos for dinner ad had a white elephant gift exchange. For new years I went to agadir. I was able to see fireworks and danced in a club until 2:30am. I love agadir!
January was a pretty mellow month. I went on a lot of picnics with the girls in my site. We packed a mule with supplies and walked about 1 mile away from the village. We basically set up a camp and cooked breakfast and lunch out in the middle of nowhere. We had tea and coffee and I brought a soccer ball for us to play with. In the village the girls don’t play soccer, so I was so surprised to see how much skill these girls had! They made teams and goals and were calling fouls and taking penalties. It was amazing to witness!
February has been one of my busiest months! I had another regional meeting at the beginning of the month. It was really nice to meet volunteers from other sectors and exchange information, resources, and ideas about projects. I got a lot of information about youth development and hope to start doing some leadership and team building games with the students in my site. And right after the meeting, my mom came into country!! I took her on a ten day tour of Morocco; we visited Fez and had some absinthe tea (don’t get the wrong idea, it is just herbal tea) and bought some clothes, then we traveled to a town outside of Beni Mellal and she got to enjoy some recently pressed olive oil; our next adventure was to Marrakech where she enjoyed harira and galanga tea in the Jemaa El Fnaa. We shopped a little more before we traveled down to agadir and enjoyed the beach and the English pub. Next on the list was my site, where she experienced henna and tried on some traditional outfits of the sahara. She also visited my sbitar and met the midwife nurses that work there. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to see souk and walk around to see everyone in the village. ** a note to pcvs who are reading this and are having family visit soon: I HIGHLY encourage you to spend a lot of time in your site. Mom and I only stayed for two days and I truly regret not giving ourselves more time to really enjoy spending time with family and friends there. Had I known what I know now I would have had my mom stay in site for at least 5 days to a week!** I think she had a good time and it was really nice for my host family to meet family from the states. They keep asking when she is going to return (enshollah ;) )
So in less than a week I will have been in Morocco for a whole year! Peace corps life really hasn’t been anything like I had expected, but I am so happy to be having these experiences. I am so pleased with my decision even with all of the ups and downs, frustrations and let downs, miscommunications, and cultural faux pas, and I can’t at this moment imagine anywhere else I want to be or anything else that I would rather be doing. I can’t believe I’ve already learned so much and I still have another year and two months to go. I plan to make a trip to the states in may, so if anyone is in the Wichita or manhattan ks area please let me know! I want to get in touch with people and catch up!! Until next time, be safe and keep on keeping on!