Check back in a week….

Time for a long overdue update!

WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We decided on our house on Monday afternoon and we were able to get it checked for security purposes by a second-year Peace Corps volunteer on Wednesday! WAHOOO!!

However, there is a bit of a catch! Unlike some of our fellow PCV’s who have moved into their new homes (Congratulations to those who have!!) we still have about a week before we move into our beloved home! We plan to use that time to try and round up some things… pots, pans, bed, rugs etc. The landlord told us to come back on Wednesday to make sure everything has been done (the painting, electrical and some of the glass work still needed to be worked on) and then by Thursday or Friday everything should be good to go! We are beyond* excited for a chance to shop around for things and begin to make our own meals, invite people over etc.etc.

In other news, we may have found a tutor… thanks to the help of an American family that lives in Larache (who was also instrumental in our finding a fabulous apartment)! So hopefully we can meet with the tutor sometime and see how things go!

As for right now, we are relaxing for the next couple of days to gear up in finding things for the apartment and bargaining for them!

We are having some trouble in procuring a post office box so don’t worry for those that want to send things… we ARE working on it! But as with most things in Morocco, we were told to check back in a week. We went to the post office on Wednesday and were told that the boxes were full? Although, I have never heard of this… nothing really surprises me any more, so we’ll check back next week (maybe every day?) to see if we are able to get a box! Inshallah, we will be successful! 🙂

Hopefully, we will check back with you in a week 😉

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The Simsar

Just a short update…..

We have had some GREAT success in looking at a couple more places! One was found by our mudir and the other was by a simsar (pronounced as spelled). A Simsar is essentially a rental agent, who’s payment depends on the simsar, that will help you navigate the trenches of finding an apartment in Morocco. This simsar was introduced to us by the amazing American family who we met on Friday at lunch.

Now although we definitely have two places that we can move into– they both have their pros and cons– which we have weighed carefully over the last couple of days.

However– we seem to still be frustrated– we would like for the simsar to show us at least one or two more places… but even though he found one place right away, we have not heard from him since Friday.    And the landlord of our one apartment needs to know by tomorrow morning on whether we will take that apartment or not… so what to do? Wait for a couple more apartments to come up… sign on one of the two that we have now?

I guess only time will tell!!!

Hoping for a more positive update on the housing search tomorrow!

The Two and a Half Apartments

Sorry for the delay in updates folks! I hope you aren’t thinking that we have hit a wall!!! Although there have been a couple to climb over– and I am sure there will continue to be some with this housing search, DON’T FEAR*, we have made SOME progress!!

Let’s see… where did we leave you? We had met Abderhaman, a nice cafe owner, through Mito and had lunch with his family! Well, that day I began to feel a bit feverish… so we stayed in for the rest of Monday. Then late Tuesday morning, my fever had subsided a bit so we set out to see our first apartment! I can see us in this apartment…hmm….. about 4 months from now. Abderhaman had told us that it was being remodeled– he however didn’t tell us how much. He said in 2-3 weeks time we could be in it- then the next day it changed to 3-4 weeks– THEN when we went to see the apartment his cousin told us a week. So even though it is cute, it still needs a ton* of work.. and if we had the time we would love to help fix it up and such, but unfortunately with our timeline… time is not on our side.

Also unfortunately, my fever returned with a vengeance along with other ailments. I started on a regimen of ibuprofen and antacids…. with a side of tuna and rice for lunch (which was supposed to help my stomach). However it seemed that the tuna and rice bothered my poor stomach more than it helped– who would have thought? Anyway, the rest of my Tuesday was spent inside as well! But seeing our first apartment made it a successful Tuesday!!!

Wednesday is our busy day of the week… we have a meeting with our mudir and the other teachers at 10:30 in the morning and then teach an English class from 6-8 in the evening. After a night of being ill, Tyler forged the path of meetings and English classes on his own! And little to our knowledge, by the end of the day he would see not one* but one and a half apartments! The one, owned by a lady who lived in England, was way too big for us. But she tried to call a couple of other people who might know of apartments on our behalf. The half apartment– I call it that because Tyler only saw the outside- seems absolutely perfect! It is on a quiet little street near the Dar Chabab and our neighbor would be a man who works at the Dar Chabab. However, the key apparently is 200 km away and it may be 2-3 weeks before the key gets here. Enshallah, it will be sooner. But our would-be neighbor seems to think that we have about a month or two before we need an apartment– he says that we need to relax and go with the Moroccan flow. 🙂 I attempted to explain that I would love to… but we have only a couple of weeks… he didn’t seem to want to listen, just continued dancing around the office with Tyler under his arm! Well… enshallah 🙂

Today, we are hoping is… productive! I finally feel up to par so this afternoon we are hopefully going to see an apartment that a woman said might be available as well as talk to the owner of a bakery that said he would help us. We can also talk to Abderhaman about other places and then the lady who lived in England might be able to help us! Also, we are having lunch with some American friends of our host family– maybe we can ask them if they know anyone?! Enshallah! 🙂

We are about 5 days and counting… so we shall see!! Wish us luck! 🙂

Bartma Search Continues

Brief update, first one by me (Tyler)…hence the brevity

This morning we went to present ourselves as ejnib (foreigners) to the local bulis (police) to inform them that we will be in town for a couple years. Upon entering the station the guard immediately asked mushkill (problem)? We replied in broken Arabic that we were told to come there to inform them that we are in Larache for the next 2 years. We proceeded to be shuffled between different rooms until we landed in the office of an unfortunate gentlemen that had no idea he had just been presented with two Americans who speak broken Arabic, some spanish and little to no French. After about an hour of charades and fumbling for words in 4 different languages, we left the station with instructions to return with 4 copies of every document we had presented in addition to our marriage certificate and a copy of our CV’s (resume–we aren’t sure why they want this one?).  We had set out to mark something off our to-do list by going to see the bulis, as it turns out, we created more work for ourselves!

We then made the trek to the center of Larache,  which is called Plaza Espana, where we met with Mito, the friendly gentlemen we met yesterday. He introduced us to, Abderhman, the owner of a qhwa (Cafe), who lived in England for 16 years. The ability to speak with him in English and get his advise for our apartment search was refreshing. He informed us that his family has a small flat that they are currently remodeling and hope to have finished in a few weeks and hope to rent. He has promised to show it to us in the morning, inshallah (god willing). Following our tea at the qhwa, he invited us to his house for lunch with his wife and three young kids. We spent much of the afternoon with his family and then went to the bus station to pick up our final piece of luggage that the Peace Corps shipped to us from Rabat.

All went well today, we made some new contacts and hopefully tomorrow will bring some more of the same.

Until then, take care!