Sunday, October 29, 2006


Yesterday I was a little bit sad. I think I feel a letdown. Everyone is going to have an adventure this week - taking the bus or the train, discovering their new sites. I do not have that sense - although there are many shops people have talked about that I haven't seen, and a pizza placce or two that people mentioned that I have yet to sample, and I have to return to the places where people have been friendly and tell them I'm staying (hte supermarche, the patisserie). I know intellectually that I am about to have a two-year adventure so it's okay if the next week isn't one, but I still had to process the emotion. Someone else going nearby said the same thing, so it's always good to know I'm not alone in what I'm feeling. I'm also sad that some of the people I like are going to be far away - too far for the weekend overnights we are allowed twice a month. So I need to take vacation days to see them, or I will see them in six months and two years and on the occasions when they pass through and that's it. I knew that was going to happen, but this was the first reality check of that, so it's sad. Of course, it is balanced out by the fact that there are people I like who will be nearby. But that was the emotion of the day. That and a horrible headache - I took a nap at lunchtime but still had a hard time in language class in the afternoon. I didn't sleep well on Friday night - ful of anxiety about my site, integration, etc. - so that contributed. After class I curled up in a ball on my bed for three and a half hours. A friend gave me a new miracle drug, Excedrin Migraine (which now may go ion my list of requests from home) and I was able to rally for the Halloween party - even found a costume from my suitcase combined with accessories from roommates (I went as a tourist - tote bag, camera, sunglasses, hat, map and book). I lent my iPod to the music committee (first use of iPod!) so there was music I could dance to...and it was fun! I think it's the first Halloween costume I've worn in 15 years. I did miss the pumpkin-carving when I was curled up in a ball, but those who carved pumpkins did a great job, as did the party organizers. and all the various committees. This morning I am less sad and looking forward to the next week of site visit. I'll meet my new host family (I didn't think I could upgrade from the sheikh but I might - a doctor, with apparently western toilet and a shower), set up a post office box and a bank account, register with the gendarmes and meet my counterpart at the artisana. One of the guys had the idea that I should be allowed to go on a bus trip somewhere, since I need to learn how to do that too, and the Program Assistant is considering sending me to Meknes to meet my delegate. I also hope to meet with the current volunteer here who is leaving when I start, but he is in Rabat now, sick.

Some new information to update yesterday's post - there's a new director of the artisana so I may not have the issues that he had with it, which is good. There are good points and bad points to following a volunteer - he got a lot started, but I still have to start anew with forming relationships and see what I want to work on. And I think I am much farther from Fes - and much, much farther from Marrakesh - than I thought, given that I have to take a grand taxi to Meknes and then a bus or train that stops every so often. That's okay.

And I hear the Cardinals won the series - so the long off-season begins. Six months without baseball for everyone. I always hit a low in January before pitchers and catchers report. Now we are on a Peace Corps/culture shock cycle of highs and lows. It'll be interesting to see how/if they coincide.

COngratulations with your site assignment. Sounds great, considering that all of the essentials a good pizza place tops the list
Weird, the main site says there's no comments here, but there is one! Anyway, don't feel sad about no new adventure this week - if you were going far away you'd be bummed about going so far, you know. And since you said you like all the other volunteers (how CAN you be so friendly!?!), you'd HAVE to be far from some people you like! That's how life is, you know, it can't be perfect. And you will have internet access and something approximating an urban existence. Okay, it's not Chicago, but it's not some village four hours from nowhere!

Besides, if you're vaguely accessible, there's a greater chance that some folks from this side of the world will come and visit you...
What a coincidence! I just had pizza today!

I know that I am in a good place for me - for all the reasons I listed, all the ones you listed and then some - but I also have to process that emotionally, and I thought I would share that...
Now it really is time for me to get that Morocco map and learn some more about where you're going to be for the next two years! I hope Azrou turns out to be a wonderful place for you.

We had pumpkin-carving on Saturday and missed you! I carved a pumpkin in your honor: it has an "S" for a nose and a very big smile! (Don't worry -- the square eyes and the four teeth were not meant to bear any relation to you...) I'll send a picture in my next letter.

Be well!
Dear,Aunt Sharon I like you'r bolg. Is there pizza there? Love Sabrina
Thanks for carving! I missed it here because of my headache.

There is pizza here. It is not as good as the pizza in New York or Chicago but it is a good chqnge from Moroccan food. What there is not here is good cheese. I will write more about that.
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