Sunday, May 13, 2007
Had I really not written for ten days? Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing more work and that’s not as interesting to write about! I haven’t left the house since Friday afternoon – after fantasizing and/or joking about doing just that for weeks, I finally managed it – need a little emotional repair. I brought the pictures of the display before and after to my counterpart, and he mentioned that the delegate was coming from Meknes on Wednesday and that he would show it to him. Realizing that this was an opportunity, I went home and whipped off a four-page memo with several other suggestions for improving the artisana showroom. This was something I thought I would do over the summer – after interviewing the employees and doing my tourist questionnaire – but timing is everything. The meeting on Wednesday was for budgeting and prioritizing. Ran back to the artisana to review it with my counterpart and he thought it was great and asked me to get it translated into French. So the PACA interviews had to take a back seat while I spent several hours with my tutor getting it translated. I didn’t attend the meeting, but was told that the delegate liked the memo and will think about what’s possible given the budget.
With my old tutor, that is – I will still use him for translations and interviews but I also started with a new tutor on Monday. He was Lee’s tutor – doesn’t speak English, so at first I was reluctant to use him, but now I think I am ready, and I want to step up my language learning. He’s a teacher by trade, and has a plan, and writes in script on the blackboard. We’re starting from scratch, even though I tried to tell him I was farther along than that, but maybe we will move quickly and get to new material (and I wasn’t reading or writing before, so that part is new). We’ll see – I had to make a change, because I was only wanting to want to improve my language, not actually wanting to improve it.
Last Saturday I had coffee in the morning with Cory, one of the second-year SBDs, in town to do bike training for the stage. He’s the one with the good blog. I then kept him company for hours at the taxi stand while he waited for his taxi to fill. It was interesting to talk to him about his work and his Peace Corps life. The second-year SBDs are just now starting to think about what they will do when their service ends in November. I’ve been thinking about my own plans a little bit lately, despite not really wanting or having to for probably another year! Conclusion for the moment – I have no idea! Which I think is as it should be. I then spent a chilly afternoon indoors working on the Gender and Development files. I was hoping to spend most of May getting organized and that felt good! Sunday I went on another hike with some of the environment trainees – hail and rain didn’t stop them; they’re environment trainees! It was fun – I really hope to do more hiking. But I think it’s a good policy not to go alone. It was interesting seeing Cory and then the trainees. The people who are about to leave, such as Amanda and Carly, really are like graduating seniors. Cory and Katie and others leaving in November are juniors who will be seniors when this group leaves. The current stage is like freshmen - wide-eyed and enthusiastic and ready to take over the world. My stage and I are sophomores - I don't want to say jaded, but maybe we've gotten a dose of reality that the freshmen don't have yet. So the two years can kind of be broken into semesters!
Tuesday was a marathon PCV day – a YD acquaintance I have met a couple of times and really like in town on vacation with some friends – we did the Escalade/Bilal breakfast. Amanda and I had planned to spend the day together motivating each other to work – and then Rachel called, coming through town on vacation with her boyfriend. Amanda cooked pasta alfredo and they stayed for hours! So all I got done was typing the French memo, the one thing that really had to get done. But it got done. And then Barbara came over! Good thing there was leftover pasta because I was able to serve it to her for dinner.
Barbara has been having computer problems – as did Rob – and they both have apples. Apples aren’t supposed to have problems. I decided there was no time like the present to back up my files – which, combined with organizing photo files, took the better part of Wednesday – but just to throw in some fun, I did the floors and some laundry too!
On Thursday, I met some friends of Rose’s from Sefrou – an older couple, he Berber and she from New York. A coffee turned into hours of talk – philosophy in general, Morocco then and now, Arabs and Berbers. Very interesting, but at that point I needed time for emotional repair. I had coffee with Amanda on Friday and with Barbara on Saturday, but other than that have been at home. The weather’s nicer than it has been since this became my site, and yet I am indoors. I was supposed to go out to Ben Smim to walk the fields with Amanda yesterday and to a GLOW meeting in Sefrou today, but I “called in sick” for both of those. It’s been productive – I started my power point for IST (In-Service Training), typed up my PACA interviews to date, tallied the English- and French-language questionnaires that the evacuated volunteer had done in 2003 (need help for the Arabic ones) and designed a new questionnaire to give to tourists this summer, worked on a GAD article for Peace Works and a GAD presentation for IST, wrote some letters and cards, read some articles out on the balcony, listened to podcasts of Sunday talk shows and to some music, did more laundry, and finished writing up my vacation, but other than that am somewhat blue. There’s still time to go for a walk (or maybe even a bike ride!) but I just don’t want to leave the house! There’s more to read and more to write and more to file. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have tutoring tomorrow and maybe photography, so I cannot be a hermit for much longer. And fortunately, I’ve been quite productive, though I’ve done a fair amount of tossing and turning and staring into space as well. Some Reese’s peanut butter cups arrived at a good time. I’m sure I’ll be my usual cheery self soon – not to worry (and not to elaborate – so don’t feel you missed something).
In other news – my featherbed arrived. This was a welcome addition – I can’t say I have slept better but I am more comfortable. And I got wood to put under my refrigerator. Almost got the refrigerator, too, but didn’t. I needed the wood first anyway. I’m attaching a picture from my vacation…donkey, or mule?
P.S. I ended my hermitdom early with some e-mail and a skype call. Thank you, friends. Friends are good. I love my friends. My sister too!
P.P.S. Check out the web site that Frank developed for his artisans - www.manarmarble.com
It is a combination of urban legend and brilliant marketing that Apple products don't have problems. Most of my online friends use them and swear by them, but always seem to be having problems with them. However, Apple tends to be very good with servicing them and getting them back quickly!
At least there are apple stores here, in Rabat and Casablanca. At first I didn't think there was one. Barbara has had her hard drive wiped out twice. Both times in the middle of work that she had not backed up. Hmmm....I backed up before my productive weekend! Maybe I need to resave my work-in-process to my USB drive!
glad you were a hermit - good to "hear" from you again. I find those hermit periods more and more important...now go outside and enjoy the sunshine!
Yes, I needed it - and now need a real sick day today, unfortunately. Over the weekend I got a lot done - today, not so much, but it's the old "listen to your body" thing....at least I have the energy to read a magazine, if not much more!Post a Comment