Hello my lovely friends and family!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. This is one of my favorite times of year. It is such a nice feeling to know what to expect this time around, after being here for over a year. I wasn’t expecting such an easy transition back into Morocco after visiting home but in some ways it was like I never left.
I had a really funny occurrence on the train as I was heading back to my province capital. I was on the train from to Marrakech. It was a pretty busy day when I got on the bus, but I managed to find a seat. Once we arrived to Casablanca, the train was flooded with teenage boys, all wearing red and green and sporting the Moroccan flag. I have never been a fan of crowds so when the aisles kept filling and filling, I got more and more worried about what was going on. I later found out that there was a football (aka soccer) match in Marrakech and Morocco was playing Algeria. BIG DEAL apparently. Kids from all over the country were going to cheer on their team. It was an amazing site to see, like nothing I’d ever witnessed. And to top it all off, Morocco WON!! From 1130pm to 4am, the streets were filled with cars honking, people yelling and cheering, flags being flown all over the place. It was a mad house. I would have hate to have seen what the stadium was like when the game was over ☺
Coming back into country at the beginning of summer was rather difficult. Thankfully, I had a couple of weeks before the schools closed and summer vacation officially started but things were still really winding down. It is hard to do any real structured work. Most of my work is done in the schools and they were getting ready for testing. And plus it was getting really hot. It is hard to do anything outside during the day. I’ve been using this down season to hang out with people in my village and have a lot of informal conversations about different topics. A lot of women in my site are pregnant right now and may still be during the month of Ramadan (the fasting month), so I’ve been talking to them and their families about the importance of waiting to fast until they’ve given birth and to not fast consecutively if they are breast feeding. It tends to be a considerable problem that pregnant or lactating women decide to fast even though it is dangerouse fo their health and their baby’s health as well. I am trying to do a lot of planning for after summer, work related and not. I have a lot of ideas for lessons and campaigns and I feel really comfortable in my language that I think I can make it happen. Speaking of work…. I really need your guys’ help!! I am currently raising money to fund a grant to renovate a room at the school and turn it into a health resource room. It will give my community the opportunity to come together in a more formalized setting to do workshops and trainings on all topics, especially those health related. The full summary of the project is online at the Peace Corps website (peacecorps.gov). The project number is 378-158 and if you search under volunteer names, it will be under Rice B. Please take the time to check it out and read over it. If you would like to help me out on this, donate as little or as much as you desire. Truly, every little bit helps.
I have also spent a lot of my time hanging out with other pcvs. At this point in our PC careers many of us are taking this time of minimal work to focus on creating a plan for once we finish our service. It is really difficult to think about what it is going to be like outside of this new life that we’ve spent 15 months cultivating. I myself do have a main idea about what I want to do and where I want to go after Peace Corps, but other little desires are also having an affect on my decisions. For instance, I’ve really developed a love of languages since working here and now I am using my spare time to learn Spanish. I also plan to go to Spain for new years with hopes of practicing the language and learning more about the culture. I sometimes think about what it would be like to stay overseas and work, using the languages I know and maybe learning some new ones as well. I think about who I might meet while I am here. I think about my love of Moroccan culture and what it would be like to give that up. And I also think about my family and what it would be like to live so far away for so long. It was really hard at first to cope with that, but now that I am acclimated and am doing well, do I want to go back? Right now, everything is still up in the air. I love the states and I love the idea of going back and applying for med school, being close to family, continuing community outreach work. I just can’t stand the idea of not taking a great opportunity because I have had this set plan for so long. All life is about is change. I don’t want to regret choices because I was afraid of changing things up. I’m sure a lot of other people would agree with me on that.
So, that’s where I am right now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about home. I miss you guys very much. Thanks for all of your support. And please check out my pictures on facebook. They are really lovely and can convey all that is Morocco and my service so much more than what I put into words. I love you guys.
Thanks and be well,