Thursday, July 8, 2010

Home sweet home...

I’m writing this entry from my brand new plastic table, while sitting on the brand new plastic chair in my courtyard drinking cold water from the fridge and wearing a tank top!! Oh, the simple joys of life!!

I’m officially moved into my house, have been since the 1st but its been quite a process since i literally moved in with only my luggage from home(American home). On July 1st my family helped me load the aserdoon (mule) up with all my luggage and make the short trip over to my new dowar. They helped me unload the luggage and then requested I return home for tea and lunch. After lunch I headed home to my new house and I must say, I thought my reaction would be very different since I had been looking forward to the first day in my new house for weeks now. I sat on my dirty kitchen floor, looking at the chipped paint, stained tiles, and cried…. Don’t worry, don’t worry. I’m fine now, I just had the brief moment of panic (no bed, no fridge, no pots, pans, broom—nothing). After I pulled myself together I made a trip to the hanut, which is just the corner store that sells just about everything. (I also learned I don’t have one of these in my particular dowar). I returned home with some Tide, sponges, brooms and buckets. I spent most of day one cleaning and going through my luggage since I just threw most of it together and didn’t really know where anything was.

While cleaning/unpacking I had a few woman from the dowar stop by to say hello/invite me for tea and also had my first run in with my new arch enemy- the neighborhood children. For those of you that know me at home you know I’m not such a fan of children. I just don’t have the patience and most of the time they just annoy me. Well, imagine my happiness when they created a new game called “knock on the foreigner’s door and run.” After about 3 knock and runs I finally grabbed one of the children and told them I was done playing this game and they needed to stop. I don’t know if that particular kid is the one who did the knocking or not, but guilty by association. (oh yeah, he cried, but I got my point across). After that I had to yell at one more little girl and I haven’t had the problem since. They have a new game called “can we see inside your house game” but I'm working on that one with them now.

The last week or so has consisted of me going into souk (which is just far enough that it sucks to carry everything home, but close enough I just look lazy if I get a ride. Its also hard to get a ride since its an unpaved bumpy road), looking for various thing like a bed, oven (which is just a metal box of fire), fridge, table, pots, pans, etc and paying a transit driver to help me bring it all home. Slowly my house is starting to look like a home and I couldn’t be happier about it. Its just so nice to have a place that I don’t have to worry about what I'm wearing (although I have to be careful because the neighbor kids can stand on their roof and see into my courtyard), eat/drink when and what I want, etc.

My house is the house I blogged about earlier, but imagine my surprise when I came home from Essaouria (more about that later) and my landlord showed me he connected pipes so I now have water in my kitchen AND bathroom! I have 4 rooms, of which I only use 2 and have the others closed up. One is my room (which just had a bed now) and the other is a salon (with nothing yet). I also have a small courtyard where I plan to grow some herbs, flowers and a small kitchen. (Pictures up on facebook). It’s a great little house, taking some getting used to being alone at night (I still freak myself out sometimes) but I really like it. Eventually I want to paint but I’m thinking that’s going to be a Ramadan project. Its so weird to think this is home for the next two years….

Other than the house I’ve been trying to integrate more and more in the community. Although having to buy everything for the house was a bit annoying it was good because it meant I had to spend more time in Souk. Souk is my main dowar and its where all the ‘businesses’ are, its also where our weekly market is help. I have to go through there for transport, etc but I don’t like to spend a lot of time there because honestly, it’s just awkward since females usually avoid the area. Talking to people where to buy things, buying them and trying to get transport back to my house gave me a reason to be there and the opportunity to talk to people I otherwise would have been a bit intimidated to do. Also, since I’d be living in another dowar I forgot how used to seeing me people became. But now? New dowar, back to square one. I still get the ‘bonjour’ from people, since they assume all foreigners are French (its funny because 99% of the people don’t know anything BUT bonjour but they insist on saying it to me). So I'm back to explaining to people I'm American, I live here, I work in health, I'm 23, not married (miskeena=poor thing), I don’t want to be married, I have two sisters..... blah blah blah. Its interesting because I know how to talk about those basic types of things really well, so sometimes they think my tashlheet is better than it is in the beginning and start talking really fast… then we have to back up and I have to explain I’ve only been studying it for 4 months (yeah--- can you believe it!? I’ve been here 4 MONTHS!)

I’ve also had the opportunity to visit both Marrakesh and Essaouria since last post. Both of those alone could be their own posts, but I’m sure I’ll return so I’ll fill you all in on those trips another time. Briefly though, I went to Essaouria for a music festival which was super fun. I got to meet a lot of other volunteers I wouldn’t have otherwise met. It’s crazy to think there are over 250 of us here in Morocco and some of us will never meet!!

Whewwww--- long post, sorry. Thanks if you’ve read the whole thing, I’ll try and get better are posting more often so they are not as long. Bslama! (go with piece, aka- goodbye!)

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