hello everyone! it’s been a while since i’ve posted on here but there’s been a lot going on in the past couple of weeks that i don’t even know where to begin! the other day i woke up and BAM! all of a sudden it’s july. where has the time gone?? i guess the cliche is right: time flies when you’re having fun. don’t get me wrong, there was definitely some work involved between all the fun but even that was fun. fun, fun, fun…i’ll make that the theme of my summer 🙂
so it all started with essaouira where i attended the gnaoua world music festival. think coachella (lots and lots of hipsters…who knew those existed in morocco?) but this is more like a giant blend of musical talents from artists all around the world. it’s a three day shindig that included music, good food, great company, new friends, and awesome experiences. i think essaouira easily makes it to the top of my 2 most favorite cities in morocco so far along with chefchaouen. i definitely hope to go there again before my service ends.
then we headed to rabat for our Mid-Service Training (MST). that was a 2 day training where we learned about resiliency, changing behaviors, and had a few more language sessions, etc. the highlight of that trip was definitely getting together with everyone from my stajj again. the last time we did that was last september for our In-Service Training (IST) in marrakech.
climbing mt. toubkal was probably amongst THE hardest things i’ve ever had to do in my life. i completely underestimated just how difficult it was going to be. absolutely no preparation went into it on my part but in the end, when all has been said and done, i’m still glad i did it. i made it to “my summit” (an hour within the real thing) and called it a day. i just couldn’t do it anymore. the altitude really got to me. ironically enough, the day we climbed the summit was the same day as my dad’s one year death anniversary. it’s weird to say it but that was completely unplanned. anyway, two days and approximately 32 miles of hiking and that was that. on the way back, i rode a mule along a never ending cliff (i’m not kidding) for 4 hours. it was like being on a slow roller coaster ride. somewhere on that mountain is a small berber man who now knows the phrase “oooooh my God!” all thanks to me. his response every time was “ma kan xafsh walu”. i should get that tattoo’ed on me somewhere.
shortly after our toubkal trip i went to agadir for the International Youth Foundation (IYF) Training. we spent 5 days there with our moroccan counterparts learning and practicing how to be facilitators of this awesome life skills/world of work program, which i am hoping to implement in fes this fall, inshallah. for me, the best part of that week was getting to work with all the amazing moroccan counterparts that were present. meeting and working with them reinforces my desire to do work in this country. everyone was so motivated and excited for this program so i’m really looking forward to doing it with my counterpart in a few months.
and so with that, i have a few days back at site until the next round of fun begins again! the heat is here and ramadan will be starting in a couple of days. so here’s to making the best of my last summer in morocco!
side note: i just wanted to say that all the photo cred for this post goes to my dear friends who took all of these random shots with their cameras…my camera disappeared somewhere in essaouira at the beginning of the trip 😦 thanks, guys!