I have not updated on this blog in a while. Matt has his own blog he has been doing for a while now. I just wanted to let you know about his blog. Thanks! Check it out! Matt in Morocco
Tuesday was a great day! I had my Beginner’s English class at the Women’s Center and I’m at about 12-15 women and girls each day. We went over the months and words like ‘month’, ‘day’, ‘year’ and then I gave them some ways to use these words in a sentence.
After I finished class I met up with the Small Business Volunteer from the nearest town, Joy, and we worked on learning how to use a foot powered sewing machine. I think we got the hang of it by the end. I sewed up one side of a purse that I am working on.
Hopefully the end result will be good. Joy and I got the fabric at a ‘Ponj’ shop, which is like a couch shop. So it is pretty thick material. We are hoping to come up with a good pattern that the women at our Women’s Centers will be able to create and sell on their own. All of the female volunteers in my area are getting together at my house to do some planning for a Women’s Wellness Workshop to train a few women from each center to teach Aerobics and health related issues. I don’t yet have an aerobics class but I am hoping that the director of my center will know a couple of women that would be interested to do a class with me. I’m really looking forward to this meeting and hope it goes well.
After leaving the Women’s Center I went home and made lunch (always a long ordeal). Then Matt and I went to the Dar Chebab (Youth Center). We had a Beginner’s class of 14 today. I’m really excited because when we first started we were just getting like 1 or 2 kids showing up. It’s hard to teach a class with 2 kids in it.
I think that my language is really picking up I feel much more confident speaking Darija and have more fluency. It’s exciting to have a conversation in another language. After 4 months in Morocco I already speak way better than my Spanish after 4 years in high school. Though sometimes people do try to speak to me in Spanish. (Morocco is very close to Spain.)
Well now I need to do some shopping. I’m our of peppers.
Here is a slight update of our site.
Language has had it's good days and really bad days. I have found if I am tired that day I cannot speak hardly any Darija (Arabic). My mind just shuts down even if I know the words that are being spoken. Some days I feel like I am doing great and I am going to learn the language quickly. I am starting to finally string a few sentences together so that is encouraging. I have a host sister who is 9 years old and she has been a big help. She is my "usteda' or teacher and is teaching me a lot of stuff and challenging me with my language. She really enjoys it and really likes me too.
When it comes to my tutor, I found one but I do not think it is going to work out. He wants me to learn "fossa" or classical Arabic because the past volunteer wanted to learn that. I am not as advanced has he was starting out and he seems to be frustrated by that. He huffs if I do not say the word exactly right. I just want to communicate with the people and be understood. I will worry about perfection later. I told him all of this but he does not seem to care much. I am not worried about this because I have many contacts for tutors.
Our site is very big. Beggars really hit us hard every time we go out and it can sometimes be abrasive. I few times now beggars have grabbed me and asked for money and just stood in my face with their hand out. Sometimes stuff like that is hard to handle but it is get getting better daily. We now know most of the trouble spots in town and when we go out we try to avoid them. So it is all together not that bad just we are getting used to everything.
Our counterparts here in country are helpful. I honestly have not had much time to do my job yet because we have been running around doing things like Carte de Jour and finding a place to live. On the plus side of this it seems that we have maybe found a place to live. It looks nice and is much bigger than our apartment back in the states. It is in a safe area and we have great connections with a mechanics shop down the road. They all said they would look after us. The place even has a western style toilet. No squatting for us. This is about all I have time for now so I will update more when I have the chance.
Happy Eid Kaber
Hey! We are in Morocco! We got here three weeks ago and are doing language training with a group of four other people in a small town. We are living with a Moroccan family too! We have like a month and a half of training left and then we are sent to our final place, but we don't know where that is yet. We will most likely end up working in youth centers in a bigger city. So we will basically teach english and create activities and clubs for local youth, and do camps. I'm actually at a cyber cafe right now typing on a french keyboard. fun stuff!
We are living with an awesome Moroccan family (mom, dad, a brother and two sisters). It's really starting to feel more like a home now that we have been here for more than a week. I get to help cook the meals and clean around the house Moroccan style! I've even gotten to hand wash my clothes :-) I have been a little sick though, but it's mostly just that they eat so much really tasty food all the time. we have like at least five meals a day, but I've learned to only eat so much at each meal. The beds are really different here, they double as couches during the day. they are called 'ponges'. It's been really awesome learning the language and the culture we have classes every day for about 8 hours with meal breaks of course :-) We are learning a lot!
Hello Friends and Family,
Just wanted everyone know that we made it to Morocco! Tanie and I are still really sore and jet lagged from the flight and travel. It has been good so far. We are right next to the ocean and it is very nice outside. We have been getting to know our fellow Peace Corps Volunteers and most of them are great!
Over the next few days we have a pretty tight shift and we have lots of training to do. Right now I am sitting in the lobby and I hear a boy speaking arabic and having a great time. I hear the ocean crashing against the shore. I like this feeling of really not knowing what could come next.
I hope to post a few videos soon. So I hope to keep you updated whenever I can.
It is becoming closer and closer to September. This is really a scary thought but also very exciting. On Tuesday of this week we reserved a moving truck this was the first time that it really hit me hard that we were leaving the states. I had a strange reaction of nostalgia, greed or something else. I like the states most of the time. We have everything we need and want and for that we are blessed. The truth is I am going to miss Fort Wayne. I am ready for a change but to leave our first apartment and hometown it will be hard to leave. There are so many great people we will leave behind. We are also excited to make new ones too.
I have complied a list of just about everything we will be taking to Morocco. This list is only for me (Matt). We can bring up to 80 pounds because of airline restrictions. All of my stuff comes out to be about 60 pounds so I can bring a little more luxury items. That makes it nice :)
Matt’s Complete Packing List
Backpacking Pack (Check)
Duffle bag (Carry on)
Backpack (Carry on)
Dress Shirt (1x)
Dress Pants (1x)
Dress Socks (1x)
Thick Socks (1x)
White T-shirts (4x)
Shoes (Chuck Taylors)
Long Sleeved Shirt (1x)
Zip Hoody (1x)
Hiking Pants (1x)
Portable Hard Drive (500 GB)
Hard Drive Case
IPod Classic (120 GB)
USB Stick (8 GB)
Flip Camera (120 Mins)
Camera Memory Stick (512MB)
Power Adaptor Plugs (3x)
Motion Sickness Meds (2x)
Contacts (6 boxes)
Razors Mach 3 (x3)
Box of Pens
Zip Lock Bags (Gallon)
Travel Locks (2x)
NIV Slimline Bible
Lonely Planet Morocco Guide
Five Star 2 Subject Notebook
Small 2 Year Planner
We are currently serving as Youth Development Volunteers in Morocco. (Northern Africa)
Link to weather in Morocco
We would also like to note that our opinions of the Peace Corps in this blog are just opinions and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Peace Corps.