Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just another day...

First of all-- I survived my second Ramadan!  It’s now been over a month since it ended and boy am I glad it’s over.  It was a great experience fasting with my community though- I got very mixed responses from people when I told them I was fasting.  Some people were excited and gave me praise, told me to sit and rest or invited me to breakfast with their families, others called me a liar and made me prove to them I was fasting (which was ok sometimes, but when I was extra hungry/thirsty this response didn’t put me in a good mood) and others thought I was crazy for fasting when I didn’t have to.  I ended up breaking my fast a few days early, since I had a friend come to visit and since he wasn’t fasting I didn’t want to continue.  But I successfully fasted for 23 days!!

Lots has been going on here work-wise.  Its weird going from almost a year of begging people for work to not being able to go to Souk without being bothered for a new project or idea.  The desk project is ALMOST complete—yes, I know… I’ve been saying this for a WHILE.  But that’s just how things goes around here.  The blackboards are the last items that need to be delivered and I’ve been bothering the carpenter about them for weeks but INCHALLAH that will get done this week.  (IT DID!  I finally got the last receipts and its all DONEEEEE!)  The project for the Sanitation System is coming along slowly… all the supplies were purchased over Ramadan and digging for the pipes and pits has begun.  I hope to make it to the village soon to check in on things.

I have two new sitemates!  Long story here that I won’t get into, but it’s great for the community since we will be the last volunteers in the area.  So there are now 4 Americans roaming the dirt roads of Tidili- haha!  Team Tidili!!!  Here is a story about house-hunting for my new site mates…. Think about this next time you go on Craigslist or to a relator for a new place to rent :)

So we (myself, Alexa and Leighanne) heard there was a house available in a village about 8 K down the road and wanted to go check it out.  We were told to go to Souk (the main center) at 4 oclock and assumed this meant that we would be getting a ride.
  • 4:00 pm- SO we show up, talk talk talk, learn about another project that the people in the community, drink a little tea, yada yada.
  • 5:00 pm- We are finally are shown to a transit with about 10 others. This must be the worlds S-L-O-W-E-S-T transit.  A ride that should have taken us about 15 minutes probably took about 40. Along the way the driver is pointing out all the towns along the way… beautiful ride up though!
  • 6:00 pm- We are dropped off at a café and ask if this is the village with the house to rent.  We’re told its not and that we have to walk through another village to get to it-no biggie, right?  An older man offers to walk us to the village but then hands us off to a kid about 5 minutes into the walk.  The teenager is then instructed to bring us to the house that’s for rent.
  • 6:30 pm-  After climbing through a village we arrive, tired, to discover the man who is supposed to show us the house isn’t around.  We are directed to the teenagers house instead.
  • 7:00 pm- We decide we cant wait any longer, its getting dark and we need to get back.  So we start walking- very quickly- to the main road to try and stop some sort of transit to take us home.  Along the way, though, everyone keeps inviting us in for tea or to stay the night.  We try to explain we need to get home but everyone tells us we’ll never find transport so we should just stay.  We don’t want to… so we keep on keepin on.
  • 7:30 pm- We reach the road and start waving down anything and everything that passes.  It’s starting to get really cold by now, and we’re starting to get really worried… finally we hail down a truck and get thrown in with about 15 other men (literally, most of them were hanging off the truck, but since we were ladies we were able to sit in the bed).  Oh yeah, and there are a few cows in the truck too…. I wish I took at a picture, but it didn’t seem appropriate at the time.  During the car ride every single man asks me to marry him, and one of the guys even gives me an extra jacket he has to keep me warm. (I got to keep the jacket, so at least I got something outta it all!) I talk to the guys the whole 20 minutes ride home- quite an interesting conversation…. We discussed how (in my perspective) men in Morocco don’t have it as tough as the ladies, how far/big America is, how a lot of people in America go to college (even girls, like me!) but not many from my area will…. You get the jest. 
  • 8:00 pm- The truck finally arrives at a village about a kilometer from my house so after arguing about a price, we get out and start walking home with our phone flashlights to my house. 
  • 8:20 pm- We finally get home, laughing about the day.  Alexa and Leighanne then decide to start making something for dinner.  I have most of my food stashed in a bamboo dresser to keep the mice out, but recently they had got tricky so I had the dresser closed with rope to keep the creatures out….. but just as Leighanne opens the dresser a mouse LEAPS out at her.  I hear screaming in the kitchen to find them both in the corner- the mice have chewed through the BACK of the dresser.  Everything is now is thick plastic bins around my kitchen……..

….. Welcome to my life :)

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