Friday, November 17, 2006


Back in Azrou after CBT Phase IV - the end of CBT. It was nice to be back in TimHdit, and even though it is close by and my chances of visiting are good, it is the end of our time there as trainees, and it was sad to day goodbye.

After site visit, knowing the end is near, there's a natural tendency not to put a lot of energy into Phase IV, but I think we worked pretty hard to leave behind something tangible for the artisans and the current volunteer. We had designed the brochure to show them, and they liked it. One comment they had was that they did not want to show their faces. We also decided to do some new photography, since the pictures that were in the brochure were just pictures, not brochure-quality photography, and we also wanted to start a visual archive of their products for them. We spent most of our self-directed day doing the photography and redoing the layout; even though these were individual action plans we worked as a team. We presented the revisions and also gave them some things to think about in terms of sustainability, production and distribution. When they get the new building they can add a picture of it and add copy inviting people to visit. Where are they going to put the brochures - hotels, cafes, the artisana in Azrou, craft fairs? They have done some thinking about this. When they want to make more are they going to be able to travel to do it or do they need a man to go? They said that they want no help from men, they want to do everything for themselves, and they are not afraid to travel to another city to do so (note - in more conservative parts of Morocco this would be an issue). All in all, they were happy with what we gave them and we were happy to have worked with them and are rooting for them. With the business concluded, we had a little thank-you party, with tea and cookies and a little dancing.

We also had a nice time with our host families. When I said that it was getting cold in previous posts, I didn't know what cold was. This time it was cold, colder-inside-than-out cold. My host family had moved its refrigerator into another room, moved a wood stove and some couches into the kitchen, and basically will be spending the winter in that one room, huddled around the wood stove. It was quite cozy. My friend Sultan's host family doesn't have a wood stove at home, and her host mom is my host mom's daughter (Si-Mohammed's mother), and every day her family came over to my family's house. I have never before been a person who liked to study with other people, but I liked studying with Sultan. We quizzed each other on language and found good ways to remember some of the vocabulary. And then other family members got involved in correcting us, which was fun. We had dinners of rice (or other small pasta) with milk every day - nice on a cold night. My bedroom was cold, but it was nice under the blankets. Still, maybe I can now see why the volunteer before Lee left early because she didn't like the cold. We had a party for all the families too, which was a lot of fun. And on the way back to Azrou, we stopped to see some Barbary Apes by the roadside! (photo courtesy of Jong)
More later.

sharon, sounds like you're having quite an adventure!! travel channel can't compete. alex tried to e-mail you, but we don't know if you received the attachment. did you get the new post box?? can packages be sent?? what is a mail no no?
was in st louis over the weekend during the series. much like chicago, with signs on lots of buildings-guess it worked. take care.dw
I am a bit behind in e-mail but don't remember seeing anything from him so please re-send. I did get new PO Box - you should have gotten a postcard by now. I can get packages but unless I ask for something (I have a few requests out now) I think it's best to wait until I have my own stuff is straining the capacity of the room at the host family's home...thanks though!
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