One Month Left!

Ok, wow . It seems I have only a month left in Morocco and the last time I updated this blog was…. Half a year ago. Eeek. Sorry for the lack of updates. I blame the lack of updating on bad internet, lack of time, and Apollo keeping me busy. Not on my laziness……. O.O …. onto other matters.

Now half of the year we, volunteers down south, don’t do much other then small educational lessons in homes on why you should not be fasting if you’re pregnant, sick, old and so on during Ramadan (and we even quote from the Quran). Then we wait a few months for everyone to come back (those who traveled away from Tata since it gets 140-150 F sometimes). And, Hay! I caught you up to October! Lol.

During my down time I went to Portugal. Really beautiful, romantic little country. Kind of sad when I had to come back to Morocco! But I had to start on my grant for creating the SIDA (AIDS in French –read SIDA theater competition. Which was work and then some. The Competition, by the way, was to get a group of kids from villages all across Tata province and a Moroccan counterpart together and talk about AIDS. Then they will create a theatrical performances meant to teach others about AIDS and perform it in Tata city. Then return and repeat their performance in their village.

So getting a grant going for this project was work. Trying to get people to agree on a price for lunch, figuring out transportation, housing, location, stereo equipment was difficult since I had to also have a 25% contribution from the community. My hat off to anyone who has ever done this before (*cough* mom *cough* dad). Its a lot of work but I did it. YAY! And overall it was fun. So all I had to do was wait until March 11.

Before March I started to teach at the women’s’ association on health topics, yoga, and American cuisine. They loved brownies, though were horrified by what went into it. Lol. Teaching women in morocco is fun because they’re so engaging during the lessons, sassy, and just a fun group of people. Also, really hard workers. More often than not, they are the ones with the best grades in school while helping clean the house, cook food, and watch their siblings. I don’t know how they do it.

Around December a friend and I went to …… SPAIN! Wow! It was the first time I planed anything all by myself. Finding hostels (fyi: hostels are GREAT!!!! I meet so many people from around the world and as long as you’re smart you’ll be safe), buses, and figuring out the metro. Thank God my friend was there because I easily get lost (which I did in Portugal but it was fogy, getting dark, I didn’t have a cell phone, and there were no road signs) and she is a walking GPS. Lol. Anyway, there were sales, flirting men that weren’t creepy, New Years Eve, the three king’s day, and OMG amazing deserts. Yes, deserts, ‘cause I wasn’t to partial to their food. BUT the history and culture was all I needed for food. Corny yes, but you have got to visit, but visit Portugal first.

I got back to morocco and it was time to revisit the people I talked with before and verify the cost for everything for the competition. Make sure the volunteers were getting groups together and had any and all support I could give them. But, during this time my Bathroom project completed!! YAyayayayayay.. An amazing group of volunteers, and local Moroccans helped me put together health lessons for the kids (all 200 of them). And really the group was amazing; I couldn’t have done it without them. The Kids were amazing and so cute! Ummm, many a volunteer wants to have children now because of their interactions with the local children. Who, by the way, always share their food with others, are willing to clean your house at the drop of a hat, and run errands for you even though they are not related/know you (Yaya for free Kidding). But, not so much on my end. I love kids (taking pictures of them… they’re so dynamic. But when they hit a certain age its strait backs and NO smiling. I have no idea why.)

COS (close of service conferences). Ok, about two months before we leave we go to the close of service conference and get medically checked out, get our plane tickets ready, and so on. Translating to a very busy week up in Rabat and we had a very busy social week to because there are many people we all hadn’t seen in a year’s time. I also wanted a tattoo while I was there (there was an amazing artists who can work wonders up in Rabat), but I completely forgot about it until I was in Rabat. Therefore, I would have had to figure out fast what I wanted. And while I had an idea I have yet to find a picture that manifests that idea and timing was bad. So no tattoo. Put away the sandpaper dad …..
Now March was beginning and while volunteers were having trouble getting kids together, most had amazing counterparts who they were working with and they, eventually, all had good groups. The day of the competition was on us and I was running my ass off. People changing previously agreed on prices for food, all the help did not show up, a judge did not show up, but thankfully all the kids were on time. The competition started late but we had time to kill. The kids were excited, the judges loved the performance, and everything went smoothly. Even lunch was good and on time (wow!). Only one group was having issues(They were not polite, started fights, and went way over on their time limit). So I tried to disqualify or add a penalty onto them. But the judges wouldn’t hear of it. So that team one. Don’t get me wrong. They had an amazing performance, but there should have been some form of punishment. But, other than that everything went smoothly. ALCS did a lesson on AIDS and then question and answer session. Afterwards, the award ceremony. Wow. The kids were really nervous! They all wanted to win so much. But there could only be one and the group that did went crazy! Running and hugging each other. The thank you part was a downer though ’cause everyone left before I could hand out all of the thank you certificates. So, a tad embarrassing for me as i stood up there when everyone was leaving. Oh, and I almost forgot. We had an impromptu dance performance… These are common in Morocco at events such as these. When there is a lull then everyone dances! This group was a mix of ages that did hip-hop/break dancing. Everyone loved it. But there was also random dancing throughout the day (before lunch for example) and the associations helping were up there dancing with the kids. I do like that about Morocco. They are not scared about dancing in front of other people (also without any alcohol to give them ‘courage’ by the way), doing something embarrassing, or acting like an idiot because everyone enjoys it and joins in.

March 11th was finally over and I was relieved. But the month was far from finished. The Tata volunteers did a health hike to schools around Tamanart that are hard to reach by road/transportation. There were beautiful landscapes, plants, and a utopia feel about their ruralness (surrounded by mountains with fields of date trees, wheat, and grass. The rest of the world felt far away). I taught antismoking lessons, others taught dental, nutrition and art lessons. We hiked about 20 kilometers, round-trip.

Then we all did Murals at the local youth center in Tata city (three days of standing! God my legs hurt afterwards). I nearly killed a couple of kids, repeating, “Dip half of the paint brush, brush some paint off, and then paint slowly.” What they did was, dunk the whole brush in (stick and bristles), drip the paint all over the ground and on the wall, then paint as fast as you can, and repeat….! I did have one adult helping me at one point and that’s when I got the most work done but had the strangest conversations. He asked me if I wanted children and I said no because it’s difficult/hard. He says it’s not. I said if I marry and my husband wants children he can have them himself. Hopefully, by then, scientist will have found a way to get men pregnant. Then men can understand how ‘easy’ having a kid is. He laughed and begged God to never allow that to happen because he never wanted to get pregnant and I begged God for it to happen. Lol.

Now, it’s today, 04/02/2012. I walked Apollo across a dried river bed, over a mountain that previously had houses on it, and across old ruins. Saw a couple of donkeys grazing on our walk and Apollo decided to lie down and roll in some water and snack on some grass. Then we went home.

I have a month left now and I’ll miss my home and family here when I have to leave. I tell people my heart is here in Tata, and when I leave a piece of it will always be here, In the cold country with a hot sun.

Cya all in a months time!


5 sec update

I’ve been relocated to tata city, but my mailing address is the same (my post office was always in tata city). So far it’s been around 50 C’s (122 F) and we even haven’t reached the hottest month yet. Yay. I’m also going to Portugal on the 9th of next month! YAYAYAY! And my poor baby puppy is always hot. I soak him 3-4x a day. If anyone has any other ideas on keeping my dog cool please comment or email me!

That’s it! Hopefully when It’s not so hot anymore I’ll write some more.

Lots and Lots of stuff….

There has been a lot going on in northern Africa. It seems they are no longer satisfied with their present situation, and, as a result, people are starting to cry out. And do to success after success more people have started shouting out about their ill-treatment by the government and their lack of rights. It’s an amazing time. Even more amazing is my, somewhat, up close and personal view to it. I’ve never seen a protest before (other than the ones at college, but they only protested in-between classes). Although, I don’t believe that Moroccans know how to protest. They understand the concept, but not that they have to protest around the source of their discomfort in a way to cause the source discomfort. Moroccans tend to protest where ever they are. While, in cities that may work, but when the protestors are in a village and said protesting is merely a statement without any power behind it, it wastes their time. And worse, if the protestors are teachers (whom have been known to protest for months on end) then not only are they being ineffectual, but they are hurting the children who have no choice but to go to that school. Even worse, then end of the year tests will still be there with or without a teacher. This becomes more of an issue when you have to pass a couple of test or they will never let you into middle school or high school. No such thing as retakes. At the same time, it’s necessary for teachers to protest. They don’t always get paid on time, at a reasonable salary, or at all. They also protest the lack of materials and supplies so they can teach effectively and they protest for a better working environment and better pay so they can support themselves. But a balance must be made between standing up for your rights and teaching your kids (who will hopefully go on into the future to make a better Morocco).

Another interesting protest was when workers from a hotel that shut down protested its closure. The protestors protested around the hotel (which stood empty and, most likely, no future reopening). The protestors lived in a tent by the door of the hotel with a sign on the fence that surrounded the hotel. This is a common occurrence in morocco. Instead of finding who shut down their hotel (the cause of the problem) and making their life difficult by protesting around him/her they decide to stay near the problem (the hotel). Consequently, their protest affects no one, and worse, they do not have a job nor are they looking for one. The families of these men have to become accustomed to less and children may have to be taken out of school to help sell tissues, watches, jewelry, or food around the bus stations.
Lucky, Moroccan protests are becoming more organized as people fight for their rights. Recently (although not necessary a large protest, but a win never the less for woman’s’ rights), the first woman taxi driver was given a license to drive taxis (I believe it took 5-8 years). Problems began when she was shunned by other taxi drivers, but then other taxi drivers started to look out for her and the ones causing most of the tension was from other females. Also, a few years ago, they passed the mudawana, giving woman divorce rights, rights to children, and so on. Even the queen and her daughter are fighting for more women’s rights.

With officials backing many of the right movements, larger protesting groups, and with a greater organization to these movements, I foretell Moroccans having more rights. Especially with all the success that other countries have had to inspire them.

Enough on protest. I have started my project (creating a bathroom in my village’s school). So far it’s going great! Everyone is excited about it and one day we had 11 volunteers helping build the bathroom. And even more amazing, we have been under budget so far! Yay! After, about 11 days, we have completed the structure of the bathroom (walls, floors, ceiling). We still need faucets, tile, paint, sink, a water hook up… and a few more supplies.
Other projects that I have been up to are: health festival in a nearby village, camp in Tata, health lessons, painting murals, and teaching English. The health festival was at the end of April and we had kids rotating to different stations. Mine was smoking. What was great about this festival was I did one right when I came to site. I could see the improvement in my language, body language, and my ability to deal with children. It, if anything, was a key indicator on my growth in the language! I felt inspired to push myself even harder and reach out to different avenues that I was scared to reach out to before because I believed in my belief that I was not a good speaker.

The camp was fun, but really tiring! We had to get up early (8 am) and did not go to sleep until one and at one time two! WE danced all night and taught English and played games all morning. The kids enjoyed it, but instead of wanting more free time they want more English time!!! So the kids here like to learn….it scares me a little. But it’s sad that they have very little in the way of supplies, available teachers, and so on, but they love and strive to learn. But children in the states, they complain about going to school, they complain about the teachers, and how hard school is. Maybe they should be put in Morocco and then they can really understand what hard is. Anyway, I taught high leveled English class, a club on Japanese and Mexico’s culture, and helped out with making supplies and organizing the kids. Also, these kids are good sports… All the jokes the older Moroccans played on them were hilarious, although they could have made an American cry… One of my favorite jokes was when they cut a water bottle in half. The part with the sprout and top is used. They remove the top and place it inside the boys pants (about an inch). They put a coin on the boy’s head and the goal of this game is to get the coin in the bottle. They get three tries and on the third try they push the head of the boy back and then dump water down the cut water bottle and the water flows down the bottle into the pants of the

Another project I participated in is helped kids paint murals in the Darchiba (after school youth center). That was two days of hard work, but it was worth it. We painted murals on woman’s rights, peace, morocco pride, Tata pride, SIDA (AIDS), and Peace Corps. WE were so tired one day that we all went straight to sleep.
In site I opened up another area to teach my regular health lessons (teaching the woman in the after school program for learning Arabic/French) and I am still teaching health lessons in the clinic. I also still teach English lessons for children. It’s astounding what these kids can learn in a short amount of time. I wish I was as good at languages.
Oh and I have a PUPPY! Really cute and the list of things that he’s scared of is growing quite but he loves to cuddle and play! But, a short example of things Apollo, my dog, is scared of:
Loud noises
People walking by my house
People entering my house and he doesn’t know them.
Things that fall and make a noise when they are not supposed to do so.
What he does like is:
Bugs of all kinds really
His squeaky toy
Hope you all enjoyed this quick ketch up.

I miss you all and hope you all write me!

Cya all in a year!

P.S Here’s a little philosophy that I have. That should keep in mind as you read my blog “
“How can you trust your feelings if they just disappear like that….”
What is history, but a compilation of minuet details from fallible minds. Stories of defeats through the eye of the victor; all painted from the spectrum of the mind. The mind distorts the world we live in to the reality we want to live in. Red is blue, green is yellow and nothing makes sense. The compilation of all of the different realities of humanity’s minds creates contradictions between these realities. Preventing us from living together, making the realities that clash with our own as evil and our own, good, so our own realities make sense. It’s a cacophony…a cacophony of realities. Built in a minute and destroyed in less. And these are my realties, my histories of myself and others. My additions to history. They’re for you, to remove yourself from your realities, for a second, to have a glimpse into a Moroccan’s reality. A glimpse of another truth, that may or may not clash with someone’s reality of truth. And hopefully realize that what we build with our minds, out of fear and ignorance, may not be true and two worlds so different from each other can actually be very similar.”

Realties: The world as seen through a human’s eye that’s built through perspective, visual stimuli, experiences, and prejudice.

P.S 2 If anyone is interested in a topic, want me to expand on something, or want more information on something leave me a comment.

The best laid plans of mice and men….

Wow. So, a lot has been going on: Meetings, corruptions, mice, conferences, mountains, food, and a tone of emotional rollercoaster’s.

Ive never been in a situation were im surrounded by a small population of people I can truly communicate with. Yes, Moroccans know ever language under the sun, including English. But they don’t think like Americans. And that was hard for me to come to terms with, because I always thought people are people. Which is true in some cases, like, they have families, kids, and fathers and they want to be happy. But it’s the feelings of happiness which sometimes make use difference, there sense of happiness is in marriage and family and living day to day. But im happy in working, discovering, and being and when you ask someone if they had all the money in the world, where will they be, all I get is ‘my village’. And while there’re Americans like that, its not common and even the ones that are still have a sense of discovery, Even if the sense of discovery is found in cooking a different meal. Here, the clothing stays the same, the food stay the same, the housing may change slightly but really stays the same. And has stayed the same for over 500 years! Technology has been added, lights, TV , satellite dishes, cars, but they’re tools to enhance ones original life style, Which makes it hard to change behavior. Though they did change one thing. No one stays home to have a baby! Which is cool, since infant mortality is so high in Morocco because TBM (traditional birthing mothers) are used instead of doctors or mid wives. But not my village. And I cant even understand how they changed their behavior when they are so set on staying the same people they were 500 years ago, when they first settled the area.

So, to combat the emotional upheaval of having no one comprehend you mentally or in tashleheet, I need support. Though, I don’t have friends as close to what I have in the states, I have a few people here I feel somewhat comfortable with. But that’s not the problem. As most know, I love to debate (though some say argue…), and not being able to debate in tashleheet is killing me. So forewarn to those who don’t already know, if I talk to you in English, ill be updating my back log of arguments and debates…. Im surprised I don’t

But some updates to what im doing (comments appreciated! The more people that put their ideas forward and help the better I do here!):

I did a breast-feeding campaign, which went well. The community was active and lovvvveeedddd the Tashleheet movies. They concentrated so hard on the movies!

I’m going to try and start a ‘general check up day’ at the clinic. Usually they have a vaccination day, but my nurse doesn’t want to start one because every day is a vaccination day. So I hope to do this twice a month and have the nurse do a general check up, and for me to do lessons. This is a multifold plan, I hope it increases faith in the sbitar, people can see how healthy they are and through my lesson why they are in the state they are in and how to improve it, increase the people using the sbitar, and encourage people to see me as a worker and less as ‘samara’ (my Moroccan name) the person.
I want to conduct three classes in English to increase the amount of people who speak the dialect called Samantha just kidding. But, I want one class for kids, another for woman and another for men. I hope to eventually use this outlet as a way to give health lessons and some lessons on america. I also want to teach health lessons in the school, through me and to educate older girls and use them to teach in the classes.

Lastly, I want to create bathrooms in the school. But it seems they already have them, but the association president says they are dangerous. But I can’t trust him anymore because he lied about the quantity of material needed for this project, what material he needed, and the price for it. For six bathrooms, he wanted enough cement for a couple houses, tiles to make it super awesome (I don’t even have tiles in my bathroom, heck, nearly all of my village doesn’t have tiles in their bathroom…), and about 4500 dollars! So, I have a lot of work to do, finding a architect of some sort to look at the structure of the building and then what supplies I need, how much, and the price. Ugh. So, im back to sqare one, which is hard not only do to the wasted time, but now I don’t have as much trust in him…

Onto other amazing feats by the amazing Samantha! I climbed the tallest mountain in North Africa! Through snow, and subzero weather (if you look at Celsius anyway lol) I climbed a steep, near 4 Km track. Regardless of rocks and ice, I survived and conquered the mountain! Lol. Ugh, the track to the mountain was just as hard, it was an all uphill 6 mile hike!!!!!! Ugh. But the the mountain was surprisingly warm! So warm a bunch of us began to strip down to our thermals! Lol. But that’s also how I got a bad sunburn… more of my body was exposed.

But, latter in the week, I also participated in a chili cook off (GO TEXAS!!!!! Best chili making people in the world.. meaning my mom!). We also had a prom and at 9 pm today, we have a talent show. I was debating on joining.. I have an amazing talent… I call it monster under the bed. It gives children and adults nightmares! Hmm maybe I’ll make a recording of it and show you all! Lol.

Well, I need to be off! But my new friend called scurvy the mouse wanted to say bye! *grumbles* where can I find a mousetrap?

Random Thoughts….

So, this more observation then anything and very random but it gives insight in the culture im now part of:

When ever I watch TV here I cant help thinking how bad and, strangely, how very short shows are (also that they don’t have to pay a monthly fee.. They just need to pay for the satellite dish… but that’s another story). But, its horrible because all the emotions are exaggerated or, at least, exaggerated for Americans. But its not  really exaggerated for Moroccans. Moroccans use a lot of body language. Or maybe its more exaggerated around me because I don’t know the language as well as them and to compensate they use a lot of body language and gestures around me. Who knows? But then, from that train of thought.. I wondered who has the more direct society or maybes its not who has it more but what we decide to be direct on. For example, if the meal my host mom cooked was bad my host family, regardless of age, would tell her it was bad. In America if the food is bad we put on a mask and say how good it is (and then talk about how bad it is behind their back). Wouldn’t , at least in this case, one claim the Moroccans are more direct. Though in relation to sex and discussing menstrual cycles Moroccans are less direct. Another example, to describe sex you say’ when the man goes to sleep with his wife’, you never say sex especially in mixed company.

Another amusing antidote is the dynamics among genders in my village. Most of the females are laid back and don’t care if you pray all the time or wear a scarves (thought they prefer it). The men are nice, protective (even of me) and enjoy playing with children. But the most interesting dynamics occur in the mid years between child and adult. One day (well today) I was outside chatting with some girls (a grandfather, two married woman, and a grandmother) and a bunch of male teenagers  and maybe some 20 year olds decide to sit by a house nearby and start to smoke and make annoying/ disgusting male sounds. Then  my host mom starts saying ” is this your house, leave before I talk to your fathers”. At first they didn’t listen, but t when the grandfather and my host mom got up, they started to panic and when my host mom took some rocks to throw at them the boys ran as if hells was barking at their heals. Lol. It was hilarious. It also shows how the young and even when then the children get older, they still listen to their parents. It’s a interesting dynamic so very different from America.

Finally, I sometimes feel like im in a dream. Like the remnants of a past so fare removed from my own reality. The woman with their black scarves remind me of ghost, Walking amongst broken down buildings. and a land so rugged and beautiful, especially when you can see in the far off distance, light pouring from the sky , draping mountain tops like a blanket and leaving others in shadow. Its breath taking, especially when the mountains flicker with varies colors from their own natural coloring and from a rainbow dancing across its dry, rigid sides. ItS like touching the past and I always  feel awed when I look at it and sad for the day I leave this living, breathing relic of the past. Its like a  vivid dream, with deep colors blended together to form a utopia .

Moving with the Flow

My days are either full and exciting or boring and all I do is sit around. The Moroccan culture is slow and easy and while thats a nice change of pace, when you want something done its hard to do it. For example if I want to go to the farmers market I have to stop and talk to everyone along the way… which means what was supposed to be a 5 minute run at topes turns into a two hour And I sometimes miss that in America. I don’t know my neighbors in the states, and I barely know my extended family. Here, everyone knows everyone and it’s always a delight to see someone (who, hopefully has some good gossip). In the states we’re all too direct (we go to the store, we leave, and don’t look any one in the eye because we don’t want to take the chance that they’ll speak to use) and it seems awkward when someone does stop us. Though, it can be stressful at times when you’re set on a destination. Ahh wel,l what can you do.. but just go with the flow.

On other days we have so much to do! This month I fondly call the wedding month (the next month is Ramadan FYI). Weddings here last 7 days and usually start around 6 am with all the preparations and the party starts around 6 pm and ends sometime around 2-3 am. And this goes on for a full 7 days! To say the least, im dead tired after two days! But, my village peeps have energy! They do this every night for 30 days! And I thought Miami could party.. well my village took their place as the party

As to an update on my work itself, Ive been teaching kids English and they’ve been spreading what I learn to other kids. So, its kinda weird to hear peace be upon you (Salam walecom-a greeting) all over the place. And I also finished my community analysis of my community. Which makes me worried about whats going to happen next? The community analyses was our only job, but know we have to start getting serious, I need to start getting serious. Wish me luck!

Oh and I found a camel spider in my house…. Google it.

Hamam and full moons

I’ve just taken my first public bath and it was amazing! I can’t believe how   clean I am! And yesterday i went to a celebration for some Canadians who are part of this program to help rural schools. Which reminds me, there’s a Canadian/Moroccan couple living in Tata province! Now back to the party. It was amazing! Tone of food, dancing and i was able to talk in English! Not that TashlHeet is horrible, more that i can fully communicate complex subjects in English.

Oh, and the moon here is awesome! Its so close and bright.. Its like a small sun, you don’t even need a flash light. We miss so many moments in America because of all of our technology and advances. I’m lucky to get to see nature at its finest.

Here are some long awaited pics!

P5010067 Dancing/ Dressed up

P5050132 Swearing inP5250374 In tata (school and mountain)P5010087  In Ouarzazate

Photo0226 school in tataPhoto0227 the teacher im working with

P5300419 Tata from my roofP5300423 Tata from my roof

 P5250384 in class-tataP5260391 tata from my roofP5260395 TataP5260396 Host father/tataP5260407 P5300419


Brief update:

I’ve been teaching English at school….which happens to contain 4-6 year olds in one class. Which translates to some kids running around like monkeys and, ever so often, cuddled. Then you have the older kids who are either drooling on their tables, talking, or actually paying attention. The trouble makers are put in the back of the class and forgotten. Then, there’s no organization and very strict punishment (imagine catholic schools) for the older kids. Yet, once you hit 7 year olds there’s discipline, interest, and organization. I’ve yet to figure out the transition from the 6th to 7 year olds. Maybe a brain transfer?

Map picture

Down the Rabbit Hole

Well, I’ve  fallen down the rabbit hole and am now a official volunteer (swore in yesterday!!!). YAAAAY! Today I’m off to my site for three months in which I’ll be doing a community Health analysis for three months… in Tashlheet. Wish me luck!

But.. two weeks before swearing in I was in Tata province (my site). My village can’t be disclosed for security reasons.. So, let’s nickname my site as Dateville. It has a nice ring to it, but it doesn’t reference how many people have asked me to marry them (which hasn’t happened yet.. and if it did it’ll be called marriageville). It references the millions of delicious dates they have growing! I’ve never seen fields so large or dedicated to one type of plant. Regardless, though, it’s a beautiful sight to behold. The only negative/positive aspect about my town is.. it’s on a hill….Not just part of the town.. the WHOLE darn thing! Really, by the time I come back to the sates I’ll have legs of steal. Lol .

My family is a married couple without children. Even so, they’re never truly alone. All of their family members and friends always stop by and crash for a little while. They even help make rugs! *cough* which even I’v helped in making! But, the one major negative for my site is the FLIES. I use to have ants on the top of my list as the number one insect to kill if it invades my territory and that’s only because they come in millions. Well, sadly, flies have upped them. Flies…. well fly and swarm and consume every little thing. And they land on everything..lips, eyes, body parts, food!!!.. and it isn’t one annoying one, it’s a million little, buzzing, creepy, disgusting flies. And on a more health conscience aspect.. flies transmit diseases.. and re-throw- up their food onto your food! ..ugh… Down With Flies!

Regardless of the one big negative, my Place is beautiful, breathtaking because it’s a little village that crawls up a mountain side. All the houses have amazing views and even better, the people are excepting, patient, and beyond hospitable!

My first few days were.. .. interesting. Mostly everything isn’t open until the afternoon but if you need something you just go to their house and they’ll get it for you. The people in my village don’t mind helping but it’s such a hard life. Its hard on their bodies because they have to walk up and down  the town hill to get from their fields to their houses (carring large bags of grass and other plants), Theres only one clinic for 2,000 people, and, when summer comes they only come out  until later in the afternoon/night (which causes  its own problems with the ability to gather food and so on). I hope I can make their life easier…somehow.. or at least more enjoyable with my presence.

Alsoooooo, I rode on a donkey!! But… I DROVE the donkey. Now my driving skills are horrible in the states…. Which doesn’t change much when it comes to other modes of transportation. Anyway, I was on the donkey and low and behold, I found no stop button. So faster and faster I went and I nearly ran over a child. Then I started to shout stop in English, which didn’t work. Then I said stop in Tash (Tashlheet).. which didn’t work. They (being my family) finally yelled a sound to me, I repeated and baboom! The donkey stops! Regardless of the near death experience… it was fun!

Also, another fun fact… people here are much more engaged in their communities. There are associations, organizations, woman centers, parent association, and so much more. It seems whenever there’s a problem they create an association to help solve it. Though, lack of funding and/or corruption that prevents funding from reaching the associations makes it difficult for the associations to be affective. Regardless of the hurdles they have to go through, they’re still optimistic about the changes they can do in the community.

Well, after I left Dateville, Tatat I went back to my training village in Ouarzazte province. We gave a lesson about microorganism to 8-9 year olds . Then we had an awesome goodbye party! Though, we didn’t know half of them because once we started to dance and play the drums people were like,” wow.. music.. must be a party! Lets crash it!” …lol. But it was still fun. Oh and before I go… I passed my language test!



Where o’ Where will my new site be?

So, about two weeks have past and life has been crazy. No one at home should be worried about me not eating, ‘cause I have to eat a minimum of 5 meals a day…lol

Other then the food crises im going through, im having a lot of fun! I went on a four hour hike, helped make dinner (alittle),  visted a old fort, and am slowly  getting a hang of tashelheet!!!! I can communicate better each day and I really want to learn more so we can talk about the things we care the most about. …

Also, One of my family members was having a seizure like episode.. and the family was so calm but I don’t know if it happens a lot or because she was ‘infected’ with genies.. I was so mad when I couldn’t do anything to help. To see someone helpless and then to be helpless to help them is the worse feeling any human could ever have. She even stopped breathing for a split second and ive never been more afraid.

Ohh and onto a more uplifting topic,  snake/ scorpion season is coming up.  I most likely saw the first snake of the season by my house! Someone yelled snake and my host mama Fatima came running out and killed it with a For those of you that are interested, it was all yellow with black stripes. About a foot or so in length.

I also visited a local school and the one in my area is quite liberal in their approach to teaching. The teachers have free board and the school has connections with a French school. They’re even starting up a boarding school that will take all the kids in the area to a farther location for more schooling. Its amazing, especially for the girls, since they drop out of school because the schools get farther and farther and they may be needed at home, and the fathers worry about their daughters since they have to walk to school. I hope this helps! It was also cool to see the fruit of others labors. There’s a health association that  was developed by a previous volunteer (from 1992!!) and is still alive and kicking! I hope I can be as productive and useful for my community.

Also site announcements are in 30 min! whuuuut! Im incredible nervous and excited… a tad sad because I’ll be leaving my family in Amerzegan and ive grown really close to them. Also, I have t build a new relation with my new family, especially since they’ll be a stepping stool for my entrance into the community.





.The site




That I’ll be staying at for

















I cant believe it! Desert here I come! They have dates, festivals, and the people there are amazing (or so I’ve been told). And best of all, they’ll speak Tahsleheet (the language im learning!).


The next time I talk to you all is when I get back from my new site visit!

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