Thursday, April 1, 2010

March 10 Update

Hello dear friends of mine,

So since last post we have gone to meet/stay with our host families in our towns, visited the town of Ait Ben Haddou and have come back to our hub site (Ourzazate) three times…. Sorry! I didn’t bring my computer with me the first trip back to our sites so it was hard to try and update the blog when we got back to hub. I’ll catch you all up for now and try to get better at posting when I’m at hub. So let me tell you all about my FABULOUS family. I live with an older sister, Nejma (she is about 27) and my brother Abdelhay (he is 12). I also live with my wonderful mother and father. My mom used to live with my other 3 sisters and 1 brother in Casablanca but has come back to Tazentoute and now lives with us. I live in the small (approximately) town of Tazentoute which is about 20 K away from Ourzazate (for those of you familiar with Morocco ) I live in a small home with a courtyard, 2 rooms beside mine, 1 bathroom (aka hole in the floor with a faucet), kitchen and backyard with a donkey, 3 goats and chickens. We also have a cat who is the most well fed cat I’ve ever met (even more so than Ernie!! This cat gets fed at the table like crazy). I’ve now been living with my host family for about 3 weeks and its going great. Day one was the most terrifying day I’ve ever experienced. After the 20 minute cab ride into Tazentoute we got picked up by a member of our family (Nejma picked me up) and taken to our homes. Silly me brought my backpack AND my rolly bag… wouldn’t be such a terrible idea if we didn’t have to CARRY the damn thing across the town of Tazentoute through hills and unpaved roads. Needless to say, they probably were wondering what the hell they get themselves into with such a high mantainance volunteer. Upon arrival to my house there were two ladies on the couches, I had no idea who they were ( I have since learned it my neighbor and my aunt). After being introduced in Tashleet (which I didn’t know a word of) I saw and smiled for a bit, since that’s about all I could do at this point. I don’t remember much more because I was TERRIFIED. I got to bed at about 10 after a huge meal of them talking and me smiling. I went to bed so nervous and worried about what I got myself into… there are really no words to describe that feeling.
The next day we began our formal language training. A typical day (Monday-Friday) looks like this:

7:00 AM: use the Bitlma (bathroom), wash my face and brush my teeth with a bucket of water over the toilet hole, go back to my room and change into my clothes for the day, join my sister, mom and sometimes brother for a breakfast of agrom (bread) and Atay (SUPER sweet tea), walk to class.

8:00: Arrive to l-mdrasa (school) and begin language (Tashlheet) classes with 4 other volunteers (Jackie Shay, Monica, Aaron and Martha) taught by our LCF Fatima.
9:45: First tea break, usually have some hard boiled eggs (tiglay), bread(agrom), jam(l-kohfiter), butter(zibidah), Nutella (shklat) and tea (Atay)
12:00: Lunch break, we eat and usually do laundry on the roof during this time too
2:00 Lunch break ends, we have more language, cultural training or site training during this time

3:45: Second tea break, we sometimes have coffee during this time too!
5:00 End teaching sessions, usually have tutoring until about 5:30 or 6
6:00 Go to our host families home (or each others houses) and have 3rd tea, which sometimes includes Tea, Coffee and cakes. Often there is a 4th tea between 3rd tea and lunch and if you’re out in the town there is DEFINATLY a 4th tea and sometimes a 5th (can you see the tea pattern here?? I drink A LOT of tea)
6-9:00: During this time we sometimes go on walks to the river or through the fields, I try to get some studying done here too. If I’m lucky I’ll also get to read and/or hang out to music for a little bit (the idea of personal time is foreign to my family and a lot of rural Morocco). I try to help with dinner at about 8 too.
9:30-10: we usually have dinner during this time and are done anytime between 10 and 10:30. After dinner I sit in my room and journal, read or just lay in bed and listen to my ipod for a bit.
11:30: I’m usually passed out by then to start the whole day over again 
On Saturdays we only have review and language training until noon so that’s nice to have a break. And on Sundays we don’t have language at all, we have self directed learning where we get to hang out with our host families and do what we want (as long as we stay in ours towns).

I don’t want to make this entry too long so I’ll try to post the HIGHLIGHTS of the last few weeks: (side note- as I’m writing this I’m beginning to realize that my English is becoming worse and worse by the day!)

1 comment:

  1. hi. i am looking at being a PCV, would love to go to morocco and found your blog. so, in hindsight, what would you have done with your rolly bag? what do you recommend as far as luggage instead?