So I realized I never did finish the recap of my last Summer here in Morocco. So many awesome things have happened between the last post I left off on and now but I’ll try to remember as much of it as I can so here goes:
I’m not usually too excited when it comes to camps but the El Jadida Linguistic Camp is something I’ve been looking forward to since I participated in one last Summer. The kids are pretty awesome, some of them I even hang out with from time to time when I’m in Rabat or Marrakech (shout out to the El Jadida gang! you know who you are). I like the fact that this camp is by the beach, I have fun with all the activities that we have planned daily, and I even get into the team competition (albeit a little bit too much sometimes, but y’know). Also, there’s usually a dance party every day and well, you know me…Unfortunately, my stay was short-lived this time around because I got ill…the illest I had ever been in country and probably as far as I can remember. (My mom tells me I was a sickly baby but I have no memory of it so it doesn’t count) Anyway, I only got to stay 3 days out of 10 but it was still fun while it lasted.
One of my friends from home came to visit me in Morocco but before that we met up in Lisbon for a few days and it was AWESOME! I hadn’t seen her for over a year and after being in Morocco for that long, mostly living in isolation in my tiny little village up North, I was afraid I was going to be too weird for her but she had no problem with it. We ate and drank everything both she and I can imagine (mostly me) and we literally went everywhere in Lisbon we can get to: Our Lady of Fatima, Alfama, Belem, Sintra, Barrio Alto, etc. I highly recommend a vacation in Lisbon if you can make it. We were sad we couldn’t go to other places like Porto but it was still good times 🙂
Merzouga, Marrakech, Fes, Azrou, Berrechid
I don’t even know where to begin with this…we went to Merzouga for a Camel Trek and due to poor planning on my part (I thought Ramadan would end later than it did but it didn’t), we had some
troubles adventures leaving the desert on our way to Marrakech. But we got there eventually and all was fine. We stayed in a nice riad in the medina, which was a PAIN to find as most riads are but again, we got there okay. A few other friends met up with us and we were able to have some good times out on the town. After Marrakech we headed to Fes where Sarah got to see me and my now natural habitat and meet some of my friends. Of course she fit right into the mix. Then we saw the monkeys in Azrou, FINALLY! This is my second attempt to see monkeys and they were great. One was eating sunflower seeds right out of my hand then he got mad at me for trying to pet him so he grabbed my shirt and probably wanted to beat me up but I ran away quickly.
In August, my counterpart and I signed-up for the PDM (Project Design and Management) Workshop in Rabat. It was a 3 day training to help us build our capacities in conducting community based projects. Basically, within the 3 days we designed a project, put together an action plan on how we would achieve our goals, who in the community can help us, etc. Outside of the sessions, we all had fun getting to know and just spending time with each other. It was an amazing feeling being with other pcvs and our moroccan counterparts, working together to achieve one main goal, which is to help our communities.
Glow Camp was something that has been in the works for a very long time, close to a year maybe! It was a project that was started by three other volunteers and for it to finally come together was nothing short of amazing. So GLOW stands for “Girls Leading Our World” and we had 26 participants all together form various cities in northern Morocco since the camp’s location was in Larache. Over 7 days we had 13 workshops on various subjects like citizenship, healthy living, dealing with sexual harassment, etc. It took 11 Moroccan counterparts and 6 Peace Corps volunteers working together to make this an awesome experience overall. Here is a link to a little video I put together of the camp 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEKbHavRsu4&feature=youtube_gdata
….so anyway, i think that pretty much summarizes the highlights of this summer. there were a few more trips to marrakech and rabat here and there, which are always nice. now that fall is upon us, it’s time to get back down to business. right now i’m trying to get a few projects going, specially IYF’s Life Skills program but other than that, I will be back at the Dar Chebab and teacher aerobics at the Women’s Center mn b3d l-3id (after l-3id), a popular expression these days 🙂