Monday, June 6, 2011

Life is Good

A lone sunflower (so far) shines from my host family's garden
I’ve been on the job for a little over a week now, and I feel I’ve been pretty productive:

·         With some other volunteers, I went to the provincial capital of Tinghir and met with the delegue of the Ministry of Health and took care of some paperwork necessary for my work as a Rural Health Educator
·         We also had a meeting with some high school teachers in a nearby town who have started a Leadership Academy to see if there are ways that we Peace Corps volunteers can be involved
·         I applied for my carte de sejour (similar to the American green card), necessary for me to live and work here legally over the next two years
·         I met with the principal of the local middle school. He gave me a warm welcome and said he looked forward to working with me on health education and English in the coming school year
·         I visited the adbib (doctor, or PA) at the local clinic. We still haven’t gotten quite to point where he accepts me as officially attached to the sbitar, but that will come in time – and it’s essential, since he is my counterpart, my immediate supervisor here in Morocco.
·         To move that along, I met with the administrator of the hospital in Kalaa today, so that he would provide the necessary permissions and notifications to my local clinic
·         I had the first tutoring session with my new tutor, and we hit it off. I discovered that he is a Berber activist. With my own commitment to free speech, his efforts to gain recognition and equal status for Berber, his native language in his native country, resonated deeply with me
·         And I’ve begun teaching English. There’s a group of young women I’ve met with three times already. I also started with my host brother, a dagger-maker, who wants English for his shop in the dagger-maker’s cooperative. When school gets out in two weeks, I’ll start tutoring some middle school students in conversational English for the summer

It's been raining a lot lately. A week ago the Dades rose
enough to make our footbridge impassable. This morning
it was just inches from washing over the bridge on the only
road connecting our town to Kalaa.
I’ve been productive, but a little more relaxed, too.

·         I’m sleeping a little later in the morning (till 6:30 or 7:00). Those 11:00 p.m. dinners are just too hard on me.
·         I’ve been catching up on my Tamazight
·         I’ve been able to read a little more, thank God. During PST (pre-service training) I was only able to read two books, Just Kids and A Million Little Pieces. I’ve read Ender’s Game, An Incident in the Life of a Landscape Painter, and Tintin and Alpha-Art in the 10 days since.
·         I go for a run every other day, and I walk quite a bit every day – one to two hours.
·         And I spend a little more time with my family and talking to other people in the community.

Bullet points don’t capture a life, of course, but they can provide context. I’ve become ever closer to members of my host family. I’ve found some good friends in a few of the younger kids in the community. Despite my still limited language skills, we laugh a lot.

Just so you know how I feel – life is good.

1 comment:

  1. Miss you back here refereeing...Take care and God Bless!!!

    ....Joe Morefield