|A field trip to the Chellah, an archaeological site with both Roman and|
ancient Moroccan ruins was part of the National Finals experience.
Spelling Bee Morocco
After last year's successful launch on a regional level, Spelling Bee Morocco expanded into a national event this year and ended with the first ever national championship being held in Rabat, the capital, April 7-10.
|Hoping for some magic in the Team Championship|
|A contestant visualizes the spelling by writing on her palm|
before spelling out loud in the Solo Championship.
|Judges conferring over a disputed point during the competition|
The growth of Spelling Bee Morocco led to the second big development - my decision to extend my service for a third year. My role these first two years has been very much one of organizer and implementer, but I'll be taking on more of a consulting role next year. My plan is to help with the continued growth of the event as it expands into the remainder of the country but, more importantly, to focus on sustainability issues. There will be other changes as well. I'll be moving from the remote village I've lived in since I've been in Morocco to Rabat, the capital city.
Under ordinary circumstances, I would have COSed this month (COS is an acronym turned verb for Close of Service). Instead, I've just come home to the States for a month's home leave prior to my final year. While here, I'm planning a busman's holiday to Washington DC to take in the finals of the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee and a trip to New York to attend BookExpo America and reconnect with many of my old book industry friends. I'll be spending the rest of my time in West Michigan with my family and friends.
I've been back about a week now. So far I haven't experienced any of the reverse culture shock we're warned about. Mostly, all I have to say is - How sweet it is!