Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It Rains in the Desert Sometimes!

And I've got the pictures to prove it!

You see that? Rainclouds! In the desert!

This unexpected (and most welcome) thunderstorm brought wind gusts, gorgeous grey clouds, and an evening of temperatures in the mid-60’s. I enjoyed it very much indeed.

So what’s up? Things here are going swimmingly – I got my carte de sejour receipt, which means I’m a legal resident in Morocco (yay!), and I may have a lead on a house to rent once my two months of homestay end in August. I’m meeting lots of neighbors and kids (who school me in soccer on a nightly basis), and I’ve also started teaching a weekly English class at the local women’s center. Yes, things are going quite well indeed.

Some things are certainly tough – the language barrier most of all (see other post) – but by and large, things are moving ahead. So far I've been meeting people on a very informal basis, but in the next few weeks I'm hoping to begin actually 'meeting' with people and local organizations to try and find out more about what they want and what they need (hopefully).

So what do I do, you might ask? I’m so glad you asked!

If it’s a day I go into town (let’s say once a week – twice if I have a special errand) I’ll wake up to catch the transit at 8 am. I’ll hit the cyber café (holla!) and the post office, buy a recharge card for my cell phone, visit with other PCV’s who either live in town or are visiting for the weekly market, take care of errands, buy candy (snickers and mars bars), soda (my one soda a week), and tp, and I head back to my village sometime in the afternoon – whenever I can find transit.

If it’s a regular day in my village, I’ll wake up and take a walk in the fields while its still cool, chatting with the women I run into and saying hello to the shopkeepers as they set up their stores for the day. Then I come back home for breakfast/brunch, chill out and study or read, and help around the house with dishes. We have lunch, after which I read/hang out with the kids/do laundry or other chores (basically I don’t go outside…its too hot) and wait for the sun to go down a bit. The rest of town does the same – no one is out on the streets between 12 and 4. It’s eerie. And really hot. Later on I’ll go for a walk or help prepare snack at 5-ish. Afterwards I walk around and chat with people, play soccer with kids outside the community center, and usually meet up at dusk to gab with a group of gals from the women’s center on some rocks overlooking part of town. Then I head home, hang with the family, and read/study. We eat dinner at 10 or 11, then we hit the hay.

You can break up the daily schedule above with visits I make to the women’s center or argan cooperative, which usually end up with me staying for a few hours and chatting/listening/observing how things work.

But yeah – that’s how my days have been going so far. Weather wise its been uneven – highest so far was 106, but that was followed by a day with a high in the 80’s. Plus there was that thunderstorm, which really had no business happening in the first place.

Other Happenings:

“Yeah, there are tons of scorpions here when its hot.”
“Oh? I haven’t seen any…”
“That’s because its not hot yet.”

The Milky Way!
“Maggie, how do you say, ‘Where is my husband?’ in English?”
Wild boar!
Mars Bars!
My growing text-message bill…I think I have a problem.

Today’s Tash lesson:

butHanut urta inkr – The shopkeeper isn’t up yet. (Said in conversation to a woman who pointed out the shop down the way wasn’t open. She burst into hysterical laughter and told me this was not only a perfect sentence, but an utterly Tash thing to say. Score! And…really?)


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