Friday, March 5, 2010

And the adventure begin....

Disclaimer: the pics will be inserted later- I'm exhausted and the internet is taking forever...

March 2nd
We arrived in the beautiful country of Morocco today at about 7 am. Upon arrival all 71 of us volunteers had to collect all our baggage and drag the bags onto the bus- which is really no small feat with 71 people, all with 2 large bags (approximately 80 pounds each) and most of us had 2 large and heavy carry ons… after about 2 hours of struggling to get the bags from point A to point B we boarded the bus to Marrakesh. This ended up being a 3 hour drive and surprisingly green.

Tiffany and I with our Yawny (Moroccan yogurt drink with chunks- yuck)

I mean, I didn’t expect to see desert everywhere but I defiantly didn’t expect to see beautiful green grass or palm trees either. Apparently Morocco has been getting A LOT more rain then usual, which is in turn causing floods in many of the rural areas but making a lot of usually dry parts of the country very green. This is a picture I took on the bus on the way to Marrakesh…

Upon arrival to the hotel we had about 30 minutes to again drag our bags to our bungalow. We had a group of 7 people staying in our room with us so you can only imagine what the living room looked like with all our bags everywhere (I just wish I took a picture). After our first Moroccan meal of lots of veggies and lamb with rice we had introduction meetings, basic safety/health and some basic phrases. Dinner was at 7 and Tim, a volunteer I had been in touch with via facebook stopped by to say hello to the new volunteers. We also learned we had wifi in the lobby, so about 50 of us sat in the lobby trying to skype home and check email. The connection was terrible, but I think that’s always the case when 50 people are trying to access one internet connection/router. After internet and dinner all the roomies and myself tried to repack some bags, took our first Moroccan shower (yucky, smelly bathroom but hot water and inside- so overall pretty good) and finally made it to bed at about 11.
March 3rd
Today I was awoken at about 5am by the call to prayer. Since I have never heard this before it goes without saying that hearing music and a man speaking loudly really surprised me at 5 am. Since we needed to get up early anyway I woke up, brushed my teeth (yay- running water!) and woke all the other girls up. We dragged the bags (see the theme yet?) back to the bus and had breakfast at about 630. Then we heard there was a pretty view from the roof top so we headed up…

View from the roof (these are the bungalows)

My new friend Max!

Our fancy Peace Corps hotel had a pool but it was too cold to swim (and I would have had to swim in a hoodie or something to keep covered up- no thanks!)
View from the other side of the building

My new friend Ben!
After boarding the bus we headed out for our 4 hour bus ride- which we were told is absolutely beautiful and they weren’t kidding. We drove through the mountains and saw just about every topography there is- hills, mountains, snow, greenest grass ever and dry dirt/sandy areas. It was also a very windy road, so about an hour in one of the girls got sick and we had to pull over. I started getting pretty nauseous myself so I did myself a favor and went and sat in the front of the bus with some friends. Along the road we also saw a flipped semi-truck (second in 2 days, so apparently happens a lot, which doesn’t surprise me based off how our bus drivers drive). The thing that was funny/weird/scary about this was that there was oil spilled all over the ground. And as we drove by we saw the driver (or I’m guessing the driver since he had oil smeared all over his clothes and face). What was this man doing you ask? I’ll let you guess… was he A) calling the police B) crying about his truck C) trying to recover his goods from the back of the truck or D) smoking a cigarette talking to his friends? Well ladies and gentleman, if you chose ANY of the answers you think a man in this situation would typically do (A, B or C) you are WRONG. He was sitting on the tire of his truck smoking a cigarette chit chatting with his friends. I really wish I would have got a photo of this but I couldn’t get my camera in time… maybe next time folks.
… and with that I’m off to bed.

1 comment:

  1. This is all really cool!

    I remember being so surprised by how diverse the Moroccan landscape was. I remember how crazy it was to wake up in the Sahara and then have a snowball fight elsewhere at 2 PM. The northern part of the country was beautiful to see on the bus, there were so many wet, green hills that reminded me of Colorado in a lot of ways after being in dry southern Spain.

    I can't wait to hear about some more of the weird cultural things you run into, some of the best stories come before the culture shock can really wear off.