Wednesday, October 04, 2006


More quick notes tonight - it's late. But I had a bit more at the 10:00 dinner than I have had before (off BRATT and easing back into more complex foods) so I want to digest a bit...

Yesterday was my first in-country use of the Keeper (since we have no secrets from each other here in terms of digestive function...turns out other things aren't secret either, especially since it exempts you from fasting (or "fasting")). Only a few of us heeded the advice of the welcome book and bought it - a few women were interested in seeing it - so I gave a show-and-tell, and every time I was through, someone else would come by and want to see it. Turns out that availability isn't the issue as much as disposal...I'll leave it at that other than to say it's going well.

A new skill to add to the board? We were going through money. There are three systems here - dirhams, ryals, francs. The currency is dirhams - easiest to use. The other two are old systems but you'll hear prices quoted in them so they taught us all three. Ryals is the one used most by Moroccans, so if we use Moroccan Arabic we might get prices quoted in ryals. It's 1/20 of a dirham. So the LCF threw out a number and had us convert it, and I would say the answer while everyone else was still calculating in their head. So I asked if "Can divide by 20 quickly" is a skill worthy of putting on the list...

I have spent the past two times "off campus" in search of one of those ugly plaid plastic bags. I decided I must put all my Peace Corps books and the medical kit in a separate bag - there just isn't room for them in the suitcases, even when expanded - I can't get to things. Last night it was a fruitless search - with a pack of us, we kept stopping for other things, and I wanted to get back for the tea time talk on the evil eye, while the others were not in a rush - plus I didn't realize I was exhausted, maybe from the rabies 3 shot and tetanus booster. Anyway, this afternoon, a friend and I set out - in the light of day, with a mission. We went to an area of town we hadn't been to yet and we really enjoyed it - narrow alleys, nice buildings, gates, slice of life - and want to go back for a photography tour. No time for photos today - mission! I got the last one in the non-humongo size - back where I knew it would be but didn't get to last night - and also got a little notebook to keep a diary in darija (Moroccan Arabic - homework assignment) and an even littler notebook for putting all my vocabulary in alphabetical order - my own little dictionary. Back out at night, I got a cell phone! It'll be more for contacting Peace Corps staff and fellow trainees/volunteers, but if anyone wants the number so you can call me at no cost to me and all to you, let me know! Hooray for the ugly plaid bag!

More mail today - four pieces! Including bag from PK, some TMQs and a an aerogram (wish I could find some of those here...haven't looked hard enough yet). I have gotten more mail than anyone - not counting what I sent to myself, Thank you, support team!

Two more quick notes, a check of the Mets score and then bed so I can be fresh for language, we saw some Barbary Apes on our way back to Azrou! Sure enough, they're in the forest just above the town! And two, the blanket on my bed at my host family has a big tiger on it! Coincidence? OF course not!

"Divides by 20 quickly. Plays well with others."

Random factoid: I seem to remember that the Barbary ape is not in fact an ape (it's a monkey).

The tiger blanket is a nice touch. :)
Did I miss something? What IS a "keeper"?
It looked like a monkey! I'll have to find out more about them (range, how they differ from other monkeys) now that I have seen them.

Yes, you might have missed something - I think it's in the August archives. Or check out I think it's www.the - something like that.
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