Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Countdown Begins

On Friday, I received an email from Peace Corps informing me that I should receive a call from their travel office this week to make my plane reservations. I’m being intentionally vague at the Peace Corps’ request. No specific dates or flights or locations. No names of others in my group, etc. Suffice it to say, I’m still scheduled to depart in mid-March.

The countdown begins, and I’m pleased. Emotionally, I’m ready right now. In practical terms, I’m in good shape, too, though I still have a few things to do. And I could always use more time for language study and reading. I’m not using exclamation marks this time, because I know things can change, even at the last minute. Last fall, my assignment to Lesotho was cancelled 16 days before departure.

The unrest in other parts of North Africa and the Middle East are a concern, of course. Will Morocco also be affected? As a monarchy, Morocco’s government has more legitimacy than those in the other countries, ruled by strongmen who seized power sometime after independence and created authoritarian regimes to hold onto power. Morocco’s king, Mohammed VI, is well-loved. He took over in 1999 and introduced a number of liberalizing measures. Still, there are considerable similarities among the countries.

I’m sure the Peace Corps is monitoring the situation closely and will act appropriately to the situation. A friend of mine, who’s in the Peace Corps in Peru, emailed me the other day and quoted a Quaker proverb. I’ve adopted is as my motto: Proceed as the way opens.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The postal code in my Morocco address has changed. The correct code is 10080.


  1. Hello, I just stumbled across your blog in an internet ramble next to my heater here in the High Atlas. My name is Charlie (or Hassan) and I began my service here in Morocco in 2010. Environment and Health stage together so I am from the stage one year before you. You have plenty to be excited about, this is a wonderful country!

    And don't work too hard on that Arabic there now, odds are you'll be learning a dialect of Berber anyhow (which is far more fun). Best of luck with your last month in the states. Eat plenty of bacon!


    PCV Environment 2010-2012

  2. Thanks, Charlie,

    I'm aware I'll likely be learning Berber, but I figure the Arabic won't hurt.

    Maybe we'll run into each other somewhere in the High Atlas. Or more likely at a PC event.