Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I write this blog for the enjoyment of my friends and family, but I know that there are also people who read this who might be considering joining the Peace Corps or might be in it. If so, some advice – don’t e-mail the Country Director on a Friday. You might, for example, be reading about the Internet Policy in the Peace Corps Times. You know you can’t profit from publishing a book based on your blog but you wonder if you could publish it and not profit. If you e-mailed him he might tell you he needs to consult Washington and it might take a while. So you might be about to end your cyber time when you hear back from him; he also tried to call you and you didn’t hear the phone, and he copied your bosses and their boss. You know he’s a policy person and you know blogs have caused trouble. Was there a reason Washington called back so quickly? Why did he copy everyone? So you start to worry, to the point that after your dinner guests leave at 10 pm you text-message the Program Assistant because you don’t want to worry all weekend. See, this is why not to contact the Country Director on a Friday! The Program Assistant might have said you weren’t in trouble, and on Monday it turns out that you can publish, and even profit, just not during service, but you might find other things to worry about all weekend. Not that any of this happened, mind you, but as it does happen, I’ve lost sleep the past couple of nights, and I hate it when that happens. The good news is that an event like that (or a recent health scare which I won’t go into – but as a public service announcement I will remind everyone to do monthly self-examinations; when I was in Rabat for the dentist I had a mini-consultation and all is fine) makes you examine to the core how you feel and I feel that I am not ready to go home. I still want to be here and to get to work.

I’ve been worried since I found out that I don’t accrue vacation during training about having enough vacation days for my sister’s trip and Reunions – and now it is time to start planning. Can we work everything out? I’m so looking forward to their visit! (Answer: I spoke to her today and yes). I’m worried about housing – and about furnishing the house. Can I start to move things in beforehand so there’s a bad and kitchen things, or order them to be delivered the day I move? I don’t have the housing finalized yet so this was unproductive toss-and-turn fodder. (Answer: I can start moving things in beforehand - confirmed that today; still need Peace Corps inspection but I don't anticipate that being a problem). And when someone comes to inspect the apartment, should I just return the bike, since I might never ride it? (Answer: I don't have to decide now). I will talk more about furnishing the apartment later. Meanwhile, all my issues are resolved for the time being so maybe I will sleep well tonight! If not, I will blame it on feng shui - I reorganized my stuff over the weekend and even though everything is neater maybe I released some nervous energy into the room?

Yesterday morning, after lying awake for a couple of hours, I opened the mail forwarded from Edie that was in the box of socks. The last envelope I opened was from the U.S. Postal Service, saying that they weren’t going to forward my mail because I had failed to sign the forwarding form. I thought I was dizzy with the toothbrush, but that really made my head spin. All right…I am pretty sure I sent my forwarding information to everyone who needed to get it. And somehow some mail did get to Edie (including a couple of checks, and no bills). Maybe, in fact, this prevented her from getting a lot of junk mail. But are there other i’s I forgot to cross and t’s I forgot to dot? I hope that was it. Wow.

All right, so armed with that, on to the police station. Turns out I didn’t get the carte de sejour – just another set of stamps and signatures so I can stay another month and go back on February 4. Then to the post office with my pink slip – and was told that whatever it is for won’t be there until Sunday. I don’t get it, but I was pretty sure that Dimanche meant Sunday and yep, it does. Well I went back today and there was another pink slip - turned them both in and got two packages of magazines! Yippee! Maybe that phone call from the Country Director was the beginning of a string of good fortune?
After lunch I went to Western Union to pick up some money for the Ain Leuh carpet cooperative – Lee had arranged a sale and the money transfer. Amazingly, it was the smoothest transaction I have had since coming to this country. I brought in the transfer number and my passport and carte de sejour receipt, and they gave me money. So if any of you want to send money, rest assured that picking it up will not be an inconvenience!

Lastly – I think I have mentioned that I rarely walk around here without seeing someone that I know. In spite of that, I feel relatively anonymous – years of big city living, maybe. I know I’m anything but – I look different, even with my jellaba on. I can ignore the people who say “Bonjour” or “Ca va” as I walk down the street – it may be harassment but it’s less intrusive to me than the people selling Streetwise on Michigan Avenue. But I was reminded of just how conspicuous I am when I was at a cyber the other day and someone pointed the video-chat camera at me and asked me to wave to France. That was a little unnerving.

The picture is of the sweater and sweater pants (I wouldn't have known what those were had I not seen them....)

P.S. more good fortune - I just read an e-mail that says that the Princeton group reached a quorum so they will in fact be here in April! Check out the itinerary at
http://alumni.princeton.edu/main/education_travel/princeton_journeys/journeys/1025morocco_07/index.xml - all things I hope to do (but probably can't on the Peace Corps budget). There's still room on the trip for anyone. It doesn't say it on this link but I know that in some of the promotional literature/e-mails a day to see a Princetonian Peace Corps volunteer was mentioned!

Wow! That's all I can say...glad that all is resolved for now - haven't been sleeping well lately either - no Feng Shui changes here - maybe we should check biorhythms...

Good to hear about the money too...in case anyone was worried! Probably would get there faster than the TMQs too!
I haven't checked bioryhthms in a long time - good idea! Slept fine last night - this following a nap right when I got home! I hope you sleep better soon too...and that a TMQ arrives soon! National holiday tomorrow so no mail...
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?