Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 5, 2010

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1/5/10 – Happy New Years!!! Wow can you believe another year is gone and here we are in 2010? Make it a year of good memories……

I hope to post pictures of my host family, Christmas pictures, and pictures of my host father working in the fields. We’ll see how that goes!

Yes, I am moved and thrilled about it. I moved out new year’s eve afternoon leaving my host family and neighbors crying as I walked away. Stay, stay, stay… stay for dinner, stay one more night, etc. Eee gads, I’m only about a 15 minute walk down the hill and I’ll be here for two years. I think I’ll see them again and I have……. I will pos t pictures of my apartment on my next blog update, not this one.

My Christmas was different than I’ve ever had before, but not in a bad different way. I did make a tree by wiring several branches together. My host kids helped me make decorations and paper stockings for everyone. They were so excited to be involved and making these things. We all woke up Christmas morning to find the stockings stuffed and a present under the tree for everyone. Unfortunately, this was just another day for my family since Christmas is not celebrated in the Muslim religion, so they had school and work as usual. We waited until dinner time to open our presents and the suspense was killing the kids. No different that our children in the US. I spent Christmas afternoon walking around plates of cookies that I made to people that have been particularly nice to me. I even took some to the police department because they guys have been very helpful. I swear the Chief has me on radar or something. He seems to show up wherever I am to insure that I am being treated fairly and getting the best deal possible. I also thought it couldn’t hurt to butter these guys up. Never know when I’ll need them to vouch for me  !! I made pizza for Christmas dinner. Was it the best pizza I’ve ever made – NOT, but they were good sports about it and now they can say they’ve eaten pizza. Goat cheese is the only cheese I can find here in my town. I luckily found gouda cheese in the next nearest city which is 1.5 hours away. It didn’t melt particularly well, but I think it was probably better than goat cheese. We even had a Christmas centerpiece for our table. My family gave me a gift too that they are confident Christopher will love. I’m thinking it’s a bit “glitzy” for our tastes, but I will proudly display it in my home for the next two years unless one of you wants me to bring it home as a gift for you. Just let me know and I’ll do so.

I had hoped that my first weekend in my home would be my time to hide and hibernate – you know kind of rejuvenate my soul. No so. Come to find out, my host family and my counterpart (woman I will work with at the association) had a relative getting married this weekend. I HAD to go to the celebration on Friday night. I actually know the bride and like her, so once I found this out, it wasn’t so bad. Besides there were other recognizable faces, making it more fun for me. Lots of drums, loud music and we didn’t eat the chicken, beef, s-sffa (small noodles sweetened with powdered sugar and cinnamon) and l-limons (clementines) until near 11p. The walk home after midnight was a bit chilly. Okay, so the wedding was out of the way, I still have the rest of the weekend – I don’t think so…. I HAD to the wedding party on Saturday night. It was almost another repeat performance of the previous night and another late night for me. , I could still hear drums beating Sunday morning when I was catching a taxi to head to my tutor. Moroccan weddings are a 3-4 day affair. Friday night I saw the bride, but she was hiding her face behind a red scarf for the entire evening not even her eyes were showing. The groom was not to be seen. Saturday night, the bride was elaborately dressed and made up in a bright green dress and spent the first part of the night having her feet and hands henna’d. (I’ll try to post a picture of the bride) The groom was not there. After our 11p dinner, the bride was dressed in a white dress (unfortunately the camera’s battery died and I didn’t get any pictures of her), and the groom was finally present. He looked like a nice-enough guy, and I understand he is a tailor in Marrakech. The bride is 34 years old. Kind of old for this culture to be marrying for the first time. I asked how they met and was told that a relative in Marrakech introduced them on the telephone and they’ve been chatting ever since. I asked if they had ever met in person and I was told that it is believed that they did meet at least once. Can you imagine marrying someone you don’t even know? I wish them many years of wedded bliss! After tutoring and arriving home Sunday afternoon, I got into my flannel pajamas, ate some split pea soup that I had made and watched a movie on my computer. Finally some time for myself. That my friends was my New Years weekend 2010!!! Oh yeah, to further add to the excitement, I decided it was in my best interests and health to purchase a small refrigerator. It was delivered on Saturday. Most households do not have refrigerators, but I’m not very comfortable eating food that has been sitting out for sometimes days. This justified the purchase for me.

Monday is a Moroccan holiday and we have off, so I intend to take advantage of the three-day weekend and I am traveling by bus to Agadir on Saturday to meet up with another PCV friend. Agadir is south and west of me and I’m hoping for a bit warmer weather. The city is located on the Atlantic and I understand it’s quite beautiful. I shall give you the details in my next writing. I will go from Agadir to Rabat since I have routine medical tests scheduled for Wednesday, January 14th. It’s 1.5 days of traveling by bus to get there and of course to get back. I’m not intending to take my laptop, so I will be offline for about a week. So, no worries if you don’t hear from me. I am fine, just traveling

I’m sure I have much more to tell you, but honestly I’m freezing to death.. I’ve been sitting at the computer for quite some time doing lots of things and now I need to move. I am currently dressed in four layers on my top half, two layers on my bottom half and wood socks and slippers. I just put on my knee length down coat because I couldn’t quit shaking and made myself a cup of tea. I don’t think it’s really that cold outside, but the wind is howling and it makes it seem probably colder than it is. Thank goodness the sun is shining. So until I write again, take care everyone, stay warm, and be healthy and safe. Hugs to all, Bslama, Linda


  1. So fun to hear about your life! Miss you here. Chuck Quose(?) is retiring Friday and I've been invited to his retirement lunch.

    Do you have solid walls or are you in a tent? This really isn't from Grandpa Griswold (don't know how to change that!)

  2. Hard to believe YOU are freexing, Linda! It must be 20 below there!