Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sbitar visit: safi, Tutor: safi, Language: tssnt waloo

safi= done
tssnt waloo= read on....

Oh Morocco.

Everyone asks how it is here. And the best way to put it is simply this
“Sometimes its great and sometimes it sucks.”
But thats to be expected when moving to a new country, learning a new language and trying adapt to a new culture. My mood will literally change by the minute, I will wake up dreading the day ahead of me, walk downstairs talk to my family and remember what I’m doing here.

Great example: Since we have now gone from having structure and schedules to nothing some days It's really tough to be ‘productive.’ The other day, I was tired and really not wanting to go out and talk to people but I made myself go to the sbitar to say hello to the nurses. On my way to the sbitar I met Rachid, who is now my Tashlheet tutor. This is great because I was really beginning to be worried about not finding a tutor. After scheduling to meet the next day I then had a great conversation with my nurse, Mohammed who is really beginning to open up to me. And then, on my walk home I met two teachers in my dowar. So a day I would have rather just stayed in my room turned out to be super productive. I walked home smiling, feeling great about my language and just really pumped for the next day :) After tea I then walked around with my younger sister, Aiesha. She has one friend in particular who I am rather unfond of….she likes to tell me “tssnt waloo.” If you were in America and talking to someone who was genuinely attempting to learn the language would you ever say (to their face) you don’t know anything? Well, I never would. But apparently it’s ok for some of the woman here to say that. Not all of them, of course. Most of the people here are absolutely thrilled I’m attempting to learn Tashlheet but there are a select few who loooove to tell me “Tssnt waloo” (you know nothing) :( And those two words are how my day went from being fabulous to not so fabulous… welcome to my life.

The next day I went to the sbitar to talk with my nurses and observe people at the sbitar. Mohammed told me to be there at 8 am the next morning… 8 am!? This wouldn’t be such a problem except for the fact we don’t start eating dinner until at least 11 every night so by the time I get to bed it’s about 12 and I’m exhausted. Anyway, I woke up early that morning to chat on skype and then was off to the sbitar bright and early. I knew I was going to be at the sbitar for a while and I knew it was going to be exhausting with language and I was shiwya dreading the whole day. (again, back and forth on the moods). The day ended up being very eventful at my 4 hours at the sbitar I saw a premature child who was one week old and weighed a little more than 1 kilo, a woman who was hit by her husband by afraid to go to the gendarms, some people from the city trying to sell the nurses medical encyclopedias and was asked if I was doctor by every single person that came into the sbitar. Our jobs are very difficult to explain. Can you imagine a foreigner hanging out in our hospitals with the doctors/nurses who doesn’t yet know the language, isn’t a nurse, isn’t a doctor and that says they are here to help with health?! Quite confusing. At about 1 I decided I was exhausted and ready to go home so I started the 2 K walk home (with a hill that still takes my breath in the middle) for lunch.

After lunch it was hid in my room and nap, read, get online time. I had to leave the house again and head back toward souq (main town) because I had told Rachid we would meet at 5:30 so he could tutor me for an hour. In the middle of our tutoring session I heard a lot of noise so I looked up to see what it was. Turns out a bull had escaped from the butcher and was running through the streets but the poor thing still had ropes tied around It's legs so it kept falling. People were throwing things at it and hitting it, I had to go inside the café because I was getting really upset with how they were treating the poor animal. The way all animals are treated here just breaks my heart. It's not uncommon to see the kids throw rocks and kick the cats and dogs in the streets, It's awful.

The goal for this next week: Find a house!!

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