January 17-18, 2013
Moroccan CRASH COURSE like none other
We are presently in “school” and hope to have more entertaining stories when we get to our work “site” so hang in there… it will get more exciting we promise! As a reminder, we would really appreciate everyone considering “subscribing” to our blog. We assure you that no spam or unsolicited emails will result from the subscription. If you subscribe, you will only receive an email when we update our blog, but it lets us know who is following our progress and that is extremely comforting at times (they say we will need some comforting during frustrating times and we believe it!). We so thank you for your support in following.
Can you remember times when you really just wanted to sleep, but you had way too much to do and people expected you to learn an insane amount of things about which you had absolutely no idea, in a very short time? (Think law school and crash courses, among others) Well, this is our new daily life experience. There are long hours and then, of course, our strong, personal expectations to learn and learn quickly. On the other
side of the coin, we are with amazing people, volunteers, staff and trainers, and the energy is positive and invigorating. Well, as much as it can be for really tired folk.
Breakfast is bread, cheese, jellies, olives, fruit and sometimes an egg in one form or another. The OJ is fresh squeezed, and no, not from a carton (and the oranges themselves are fantastic). Lunch and dinner are typical Moroccan food - - on Friday, the typical day for it, we had cous-cous (with lamb) and oh my goodness, it was wonderful. More about food will be coming, with photos, in the weeks/months to come. We are both famished at every meal, and need the energy to keep on top of the schedule.
Our days include classes on Arabic, policies and procedures, site security, youth development, medical operations and strategies/ideas for what we will do to accomplish the PC goals, roughly stated: helping people help themselves, sharing us with them locally, sharing them with us more globally. It is so much information, that often times the head can swirl. Yes, we will have tests to pass and the pressure does feel on to fill our brains.
language group is 6 people. It is truly daunting. Luckily, soon we will be at a training site, living with a host family for a couple of months to try out our new skills, for real! There are not only new words, but completely new sounds. Hard to master is the “X” sound, which sounds like a throaty “ch” as in loch-ness or Bach. We have heard that language is one of the most important things to master right now, and when we have time to study in earnest, we plan to talk only Arabic to another. That should be comical to say the least, and there will probably be a lot of hand signals.
Women appear to be VERY good friends and they often giggle between themselves. Ann likes this and loves to be around the women trainers. These women are not only endearing, but smart and independent. Some wear head scarves and some don’t. Some dress in jeans and some in long skirts. An interesting observation about the varied dress for women, is that women are “themselves” and very individual, and that individuality is respected. From what we can tell so far, at least here, they do not look and laugh AT each other or judge - - how cool is that!?!?!
We have not had any time to go out and explore as we usually do. We have a bit of free time Sunday, so we will hopefully bring some great photos of Rabat to this blog. We are especially anxious to visit the old city (medina) with its many stalls of wares and stores of new treasures. It will be very exciting to see what is offered and how it all works with a language that is so foreign to us. There are SOOO many pictures to be taken and shared! As an aside, we started drinking the tap water - - wish us luck (darn, we just realized we have not learned the work luck)!
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