“We have a saying here,” said Fatima, a Peace Corps staff member who greeted us, “that the visitor who arrives in the rain brings good luck. You have brought us lots of good luck.”
We touched down at Mohammed V Airport in Casablanca in a light rain at about 6:40 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16, almost exactly two days after left Michigan. We moved through customs and baggage claim quickly. By 8:30 the 60 volunteers in our group were on buses and were on the autoroute headed for Marrakesh through intermittent rain and sunshine. At first it looked a little like Indiana, flat, green. It stayed green – there’s been a lot of rain this spring they say – but gradually the contours changed and the earth turned red. First slightly rolling hills dusted with an orange flower, then oddly pointed hills, walled compounds and villages, paths line with prickly pear cactus hedges, and eventually sharper hills with stone outcroppings. We pulled into our hotel where we’ll spend the next two days at about 12:30. It was raining again, harder now, so we got pretty damp as we unloaded and were taken to our bungalows. It’s a lovely place made up of a hotel and bungalows, all a rosy pink.
We had a full day of meetings yesterday. At about 9:30 we all crashed, after about 40 hours straight of travel and work. More meetings and medical checks today, then a promised visit to Marrakesh’s medina tonight. Tomorrow, we head for our next city, which will be the hub for all of our training groups. I promise pictures and more details as soon as I have a little more time. For now, just know that I’m doing well and I’m happy. This is an amazing group of (mostly young) people. This is going to be great.