The moment we’ve been waiting for came along this afternoon. We all learned our permanent site assignments in Morocco, the places we’ll live for our two years of sevice.
And my site is…the same place I’m doing my training, near Qalaa (also shown as Kalaa-M’gouna on maps)!
I was unprepared for that (it’s unusual for PC to assign a volunteer to the same town they do their training in), but I’m really pleased. I like the town. I already have good relationships with a number of people there. I’ve been listening to the local version of Tamazight since I’ve been there, so communication won’t be quite as difficult as it might be elsewhere. (Because it’s an unwritten language, Tamazight can differ considerably in pronunciation and vocabulary from village to village and many volunteers say they have to practically relearn a new language when they move to their permanent sites).
I’m happy, too, because I wanted to be in what we call a “new” site, i.e., one that has never had a volunteer before. Even though my town has been a training site, it’s never had a volunteer to live long-term there and actually help it with its own issues. In my short time there, I’ve observed a number of areas where I might be able to do significant work. Of course, that will be a process we work out together. “Sustainability” is the watchword.
Compared to the other volunteers, I have it easy because I have a head start. My immediate problem is to explain to my host family why I’m showing up at their doorstep on Monday. They think I’m going to be gone for 12 days to visit the site I’ll be moving to in June. At least I don’t think they know yet that I’ve been assigned to their town. I don’t they would have been able to keep that info a secret from me.