I am ready for anything…..

There’s no looking back! Tomorrow, my fellow volunteers arrive to start this GLOW camp (Girls Leading Our World), which I will write more about later. I haven’t been very vocal about the planning of this project… mostly because it has taken quite a bit of time and well, failure sometimes seems imminent so I didn’t want to jinx myself. I have been trying to reflect during the process and will definitely do a lot afterwards.

One of the most apparent realizations, to date, is how important and vital the support of other volunteers has been. I have said before that other Peace Corps volunteers serve as sort of a new makeshift family during a Peace Corps service. This family of volunteers that has helped to plan and support the project in so many ways and overall made the process a much more worthwhile experience. There are still quite a few kinks to work out… not at all unsurprising even though there are T-3 days until the launch of the camp… but I am somewhat calm. I am really excited to give the girls a new opportunity and spend some time with some of my volunteer family members.

In order to prepare for the camp, I visited souk today and found one of the best finds ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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10 dirhams= $1.20

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15 dirhams = $1.90 with my belt that I bargained for at a thrift shop in Dublin!

And last but not least… ladies and gentlemen- you all are never going to believe this!

So the story goes… walking around my main hangouts at souk, saying hello to my homies and getting a feel for what’s going down. Generally, Saturdays and Wednesdays have been my best purchase days but I don’t like to get my hopes up, it is really about getting the feel and trusting your instincts. My strategy is alllllll about the instinctual vibe, if I am looking through a pile and I don’t find anything good within the first couple of minutes… I peace out. Now, yes… this may mean that I might be missin’ out but so far my strategy has led me to some pretty good finds. Anywhoodles, I am at a table of a man who I have been frequenting lately. I am a big fan of the sellers who come back day-to-day and set up in the same locations. I notice he has a lot of pajamas and I am going through them- who knew you could find Winnie-the-Poo satin pajamas? I couldn’t find the bottoms though, so that was a no-go. Then, a kind lady (I like to refer to her as my guardian angel) turns to me and says (obviously paraphrasing), “This is good for you”. I kind of shrug her off and pull up the beautiful garment and this, my friends, is what my eyes beheld…

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Obviously, the excited me was not in the snug and warm cuddly-ness of the ONESIE yet! Yes! YES! I found an adult ONESIE for 5 dirhams! THAT IS A LITTLE OVER FIFTY CENTS! AND, and I know you are thinking there couldn’t possibly be any more benefits to this, WITH A POCKET! With this find, I just can’t go back for awhile… this is like hitting a jackpot on a coin machine in Vegas! All I have been able to hear when I think about my new pjs with a cartoon mouse for entertainment on them- is the ching, ching, ching of the coins!!!

I am ready for this GLOW camp, whatever it has to offer, with my onesie by my side.. I am ready for anything!

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Here comes the shms……..

shms is sun in both Darija and standard Arabic… if my Beatles reference wasn’t understood!

SO* here we are! Heading into our second year… our group is lucky enough to get to do three spring camps! WAHOO! Wait, what is spring camp do you ask?

Well… it can be done a variety of ways. The camp is usually an English intensive camp put on by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The camps are usually manned by both Peace Corps volunteers and Moroccans and can be day camps, overnight camps, two weeks, one week, an afternoon camp- the possibilities are ENDLESS!

After finding out that our camp was moved from Larache to our train town, El Ksar el Kebir, we were a little less excited. Our mudir kept saying that there is no place for the kids to stay. Then last week, we heard that the camp was cancelled altogether. Now, we could have headed out to help with another camp- but what kind of volunteers would we be if we didn’t at least try* to create a little something out of what was now, nothing? So, we suggested an  afternoon camp, from 4-630. Although, as of Sunday the camp had turned into 3-7, we shall see what times we will actually be doing the camp! The first week will be level 1 and 2 English students and then inshallah the second week will be levels 3 and 4. Wish us luck!

During this part of our service, the emotional rollar coaster that we are riding (aka the cross cultural adjustment curve- which is similar to the chart below- borrowed from another blog). The chart says we are supposed to be in a low part of service- or crisis. We are emotionally jaded, have adjusted but we still have an entire year left, and may or may not be missing family and friends.

Luckily, to help with this crisis the sun has been out for almost 3 FULL* days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am hoping that this April is not like our last April (see cold, freezing, snow, and unprepared).

Also…. a little bit of sunshine (and to help with the crisis)  in my life, found this at souk! WOOT!

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Can I help it if I subscribe to retail therapy anywhere* in the world?!

Also, a positive- 50 days until I head home to attend my BESTIE’S WEDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll leave you with the reminder about April being Sexual Assault Awareness month! I hope to be doing a more in-depth post about this!!!

Love to all!

 

Morroccan Nibblies

Nibblies= little tidbits/updates on life!

1. happy to report that we have some things “in-progress” – after being hibernated for a year my “let’s plan things!” attitude has returned in full force! I didn’t realize this until my mudir returned from being sick and I had about a million and one things to ask him about! I’m sure he missed me a lot!

2. We had a successful field day! Which was really just an obstacle course at the beach.  It took 4 hours to organize two 3-minute obstacle course runs… But that is Morocco! Here’s a video from the day- notice how they change the rules of tug-o-war so they can extend their losing to the other team- have I ever said that Moroccans LOVE LOVE LOVE competition and hate to lose?

3. Most of our fellow staj-mates (our group) have been posting about being in-country for one year! Unfortunately because of some untimely sickness and flight delays… Tyler and I are not able to post our OFFICIAL one -year until tomorrow! Which ironically, is the day that Tyler is going to Istanbul to meet our friends, Ben and Scott! Then they will come back to see some of Morocco- HOORAY VISITORS!

4. I bought this WONDERFUL sweater at souk the other day- 3 dirhams! Can I get a “bssaH” (“really” in darija). That’s less than 50 cents! IN LOVE* with the little mushroom that is on there- althought, Tyler thinks that it is a telephone- thoughts? Also, we found some amazing jeans for Tyler! We got them for 30 dirhams (about 3 dollars) and we looked online when we got home and they were originally 70 euros!!!!

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5. My level 4//current events class where we are currently reading a book on self-improvement (heyyyy, psychology degree at work) had a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day (hence green cookies) and birthdays! Here is a picture of our treats!

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6. Not much time to try new things lately but we tried making cheesy cauliflower “breadsticks”, ginger and parsley hummus and lentil stuffed cabbage! DELISH!!!

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7. We finally got Layla spayed- we took her up to a vet in Tangier because our vet in Larache said he wouldn’t do the operation. Fun fact: in Britian they do these operations from the side- instead of on their stomach. We weren’t provided with a cone (again) so we had to makeshift one… She is much more intelligent than Henry and got the box off right away, so we had to use a plastic flower pot :/ poor little girl!

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8. IT’S SPRING!!!!!!! Finally no more wet walls or temperatures in the 40s at night ( I hope!). April’s weather was terrible last year in Ifrane so I am hoping to learn that weather in Larache is 100x better!