These past three months of training have been full of self reflection. I’ve learned more about my strengths and weakness than I ever have in my whole life. One weakness is clearly writing blogs. Sorry ’bout it.
Just some basic bnat (girls)
I write to you after drinking some sugary atay (tea) and eating warm aghrom (bread) with my brand new host family in my small mountain town. I am located in the Beni-Mellal Providence in the Mid Atlas Mountains. Due to bad guys, Peace Corps asks all Peace Corps volunteers around the world not to publish where they live, but if you’re truly interested, message me and I’d be more than happy to let you stalk my life.
This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions and goodbyes.
I said goodbye to my first Moroccan family. The family who literally held my hand as my life reversed back to early childhood while learning how to talk, bath, eat, and yes, use the toilet. I learned how to roll my own couscous balls with my hand (this was on the last couscous Friday-every previous Friday mama rolled it for me and popped it in my mouth). I learned how to wash my clothes in a bucket with slight success. I also learned how to kneed bread, which is harder workout than even Shaun T could come up with. I owe any future success in Morocco to them. As a departing gift, I gave them a puzzle of Mount Rushmore, which they clearly treasured despite not knowing what it was, and they gave me two pairs of pajamas. In Morocco, this is pretty much the most heartfelt thing you can do.
My wonderful family. My little sister is clearly distressed at the thought of me leaving.
I said goodbye to the four other Americans in my training site. While our time together was not easy to say the least, I’ve learned so much about myself as a person thanks to you four. From our hikes together to the terrifyingly hilarious taxi rides, I’ll remember every moment.
I said goodbye to stag 98. The only group of over 100 people who can relate to pretty much everything I’ve been going through. When we meet again in March, we will all be different and stronger people. Some of us may think Peace Corps is not for us, while some will already be thinking of extending past our assigned two years.
Stag 98. I’m in there somewhere. I promise.
And I said goodbye to myself as a trainee. As of Friday, December 9th, I am now a Peace Corps Volunteer, which is a title not many hold. I am, as far as I know, the only American within an hour and a half of my site. While I am here as an English Teacher, I know that us volunteers in Morocco are so much more than that. We are a liaison between the people of Morocco and America. We are here to show that not all Americans hate Muslims, and that not all Muslims are terrorist. Our job is so much more than just teaching English. We are teaching kindness and peace.
Shwiya b Shwiya.