when i started this blog i told myself i wouldn’t be one of those people who don’t update for daaaaaaaays but here i am, over a month since my last post. boo on me but you know what they say, time flies when you’re having fun! (please excuse the cliche) and fun is indeed being had– don’t get me wrong, morocco is not usually fun well like 80% of the time but lately it has been a lot of fun due to the holidays that have come up, my birthday, and my sister’s visit! aaaanyhooo, let me get on with the updates and showing you just how much fun the last month or so has been.
a fellow volunteer was able to organize a halloween festival at her site complete with a pinata, games, handmade decorations made out of recycled materials, and a haunted house! those of you who know me probably won’t be surprised by the fact that i’ve never, ever been in a haunted house before BUT i was in one for this event! i was one of the scarer though so it wasn’t a big deal. i sent one kid running out of there yelling for his mom…literally! i mean all i did was i RAWRed really loud and grabbed his ankles. geez, what a baby.
my sister’s visit!
so it was a bit of a roller coaster ride at first because after anticipating and preparing for her visit for a few weeks, she tells me just about two weeks before she was to arrive that her boss didn’t approve her vacation request and that her trip would be cancelled. i think you can imagine the disappointment and the overall feeling of sadness that came over me at that point but alas, in true effie fashion, she was able to pull a hail mary and get that vacation approved! anyhow, she spent a day in tangier and was able to meet my host parents and my host bro. after that we headed to marrakech where we stayed at a super zwin (beautiful, pretty much just plain awesome) riad, we went to a fancy hammam, did some shopping, and got to walk around a bit. the next day we met up with our tour guide and driver (two separate people ya’ll and yes, we had an whole car to ourselves during the last half of the trip). we pretty much spent the entire next day driving through the atlas and stopping by various sites to admire and take pictures. after that we were brought to an auberge in tinghir where we would take a long around, visit a berber rug making house/association/place where my sister spent an obscene amount of dirhams (she did get pretty cool rugs though) and then we went to walk around the todra gorges. after the todra gorges we headed to merzouga for our camel trek. and here’s a funny story: so on the way my sister had to stop by an atm to withdraw some cash. i get out of the car to help her and we’re both thinking that it was going to be a quick stop and then we’ll be on our way. we turn around and discover that the driver is gone with the car along with ALL of our stuff. i mean purses, backpacks, passports, cameras, etc. after a few minutes i started to get really mad. who effing does that?! the tour guide thankfully stayed behind and so i was able to take my anger out on him and yell at him a little. he says the driver just went to go get gas. the heck??!!! who takes that long to get gas?! so the guy comes back and i’m yelling at him, “fin gadi?!?! algeria??? china??!!!” i think i scared him a little. anyway we continue on our way and i find out later that night, during our campfire that he actually went to go get me a cake so they can surprise me with it later on. i don’t even remember telling them it’s my birthday but i guess i must have in one of my emails when i was trying to schedule the whole trip. anyway, i felt like an asshole and it was really an awesome trip altogether. who can say they spent their actual birthday in the middle of the saharan dessert, being serenaded by four berber men on drums?? oh and the camel ride was super cool too!
thanksgiving celebration in berrechid
so after our week of galavanting around the southern part of morocco, for the last day or so of effie’s visit, i decided to take her to berrechid where a bunch of other volunteers were gathered to celebrate thanksgiving. we had TONS of good food, which went well with all the great conversations and awesome company. a good time was had by all and it was great to get to know my fellow volunteers who i may not have known too well at first because well first of all, there is 100 of us just in my stajj and some of them live waaaay down south and i’m on the tippy top of the country. during the weekend we got to share what we were thankful for, we got to cook together, play games, and everybody was so nice and welcoming to my sister who was pretty much the only one there who wasn’t a volunteer. anyway, it’s hard to imagine celebrating the holidays alone in a different country but with people like this around you, it makes things a whole lot easier. it’s like having a family away from home
world’s aids day/sida activity in ouezzane:
this past weekend, i, along with some fellow volunteers in my region and one who is not necessarily part of the region but is equally awesome (…just wanna be all-inclusive, ya know) helped out another volunteer with her event at her site. basically she came up with the idea of having a weekend of testing and education about aids as well as blood pressure and blood sugar (this is huge here in morocco coz everybody eats a pound of sugar with every meal). she had associations come and provide testing and even got a local eye doctor to provide eye exams and glasses to some people in need. she had an awesome turn out overall and the cherry on top was getting the time to spend with my fellow volunteers. its’ not often we get to see each other and when we do it’s like whoah. hard to explain but i’m sure you can imagine.
and that is it for now! more later