Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Malika, my host mother- and angel. I had asked someone how much Peace Corps staff actually takes someone’s personality into account when placing them in a host family. My answer was “not much.” So this led me to believe that I was truly placed in this family by God’s will. Someone up there was looking out for me. The reason I say this is because my host family is perfect for me. Malika, my mother, has such a similar personality to mine, so I feel entirely comfortable with her. She is funny, playful, loving, compassionate, understanding, and she gives me my own freedom and independence. She hugs and kisses me several times daily, which I needed more than I thought seeing as I am away from my real mother for so long. She calls me “habiba” which means girlfriend. I’m her girl. She has one 11-year-old son named Taha, who is so sweet and funny. They have an adorable relationship because it is just the two of them. Malika’s father lives with us too, but I rarely see him outside of dinnertime. I come from a home that is for the most part quiet. And that’s what I walked into here in Morocco. It is normally very calm and soothing, (aside from the entirely annoying clock that plays a song and chimes for every hour of the day!) I have my own room with a couch, table, and full bed. When I am in my room with my door closed my family respects that. Since my alone time is so valuable and necessary to my sanity I appreciate this more than anything. I also appreciate Malika’s cooking seeing as it is fabulous. “Makla Bnina” is a phrase I use often because it means “delicious food.” But Malika always accepts the fact that I am full and I don’t want any more food. Malika and I can always joke and laugh with each other even though we can only verbally communicate 10% of the time. Most of our communication comes from charades and hand gestures. We both have become pretty good actors.
After about 3 weeks now with my family I think I am as comfortable as I will ever be with them. Which is good because I am very comfortable. Just now I was sitting on the living room floor with Malika, Taha, and a neighbor girl going over words in English and Arabic. Then Malika invited me into her bed to watch a little t.v. with her. I feel so honored that they love me so much and they barely know me at all. It makes me happy to know that my personality can shine though even without words.