Monday, November 16, 2009

Here I go again on my own

So here I go again on my own. For the past 9 weeks I have been training and living in the same city as 3 other trainees as well as our language teacher. So even though I was far from home I was by no means alone. I also got to see all the other members of my youth development sector about once every other week. My support system was as strong as steel. But now since I have successfully finished my 9 weeks of pre-service training I have proven myself worthy to be able to live in Morocco on my own. One the day following my swearing in ceremony all the members of my group had to say goodbye to one another and scatter off across Morocco like leaves in the wind. So now I have an incredible amount of challenges staring me in the face now that I have arrived in my final site. Challenges that seemed impossible to me 9 weeks ago but now, as they still seem difficult, I know I can face them. I still haven’t figured out where exactly this drive is coming from but I’d rather just go with it. There really hasn’t been a time that I have had that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach and I have never felt truly scared. I’m not saying I will never have times like these but I am glad I am at least off to a strong start. The comforting thought of the support from my friends and family at home defiantly keep me going. Although there are many times that I wish that certain people were here to experience these things with me.
I’d like to fill you all in on what it is I will be doing in my site for the first several months.

1. Get my Carte De Sejour-this is a ID card that everyone needs to live in Morocco if they plan to be here for more than 3 months. The application is comparable to getting a passport.
2. Get a post box so I can receive all the wonderful mail that people want to send me!
3. Find myself a tutor who can help me with my language in a formal setting.
4. Look for my own house or apartment and things to fill it with.
5. Meet with the authorities in my town.
6. Socialize with people in town so they can get to know me and understand why I am here.
7. Start to figure out exactly what youth in my town don’t have but wish they did, and see how I can help them.
8. Hopefully start teaching English classes or at least tutoring some people in English.
9. Get to know my way around town and find out where all the things and places are that I need.
10. Brainstorm projects and activities that I want to do with kids here using the skills that I have.

So by doing all these things I will slowly integrate and find my place here. I know all this will take several months and I know I have to be patient. I want to take as much control of my own life as possible because up until this point I haven’t felt like I could control much in my own life here.

Let me now talk about my new family.

I like to call them my host roommates because they are just a young couple aged 27 and 29. Mohammed and Bahija. She is pregnant right now and due in 5 months. My room here is really nice but pretty small and not much space for my things. I am sleeping on a really hard Moroccan couch for a bed, but I guess it’s better than the floor, which would be my other option. Their apartment is very small but extremely clean and nice. They have very nice things here like a range, washing machine, a shower with hot water, and 2 Tvs (one of which is in my room). I am defiantly not used to the because in my last home I defiantly lived a lot more modestly. I feel a little spoiled here right now because of all these nice things but right now I am going enjoy it while I have the chance. When I live on my own I wont be able to afford tv and I might not even have a shower. I don’t want spoil myself when I live on my own because I joined Peace Corps to learn exactly what it is I can live without. So my host roommates are very nice, however I can’t really communicate much with them at this point. They fluently speak French and Arabic, but I can’t speak much of either with them. They speak a lot faster than I am used to and they are not used to dumbing it down for someone who cant communicate well. They seem to be a little protective of me which is great but kinda makes me feel like a teenager or something. They also seem to want to tell me what I should do without making it clear to me. For instance I just visited Casablanca for the day and I was gone all day walking all over the city in the hot sun. I was tired and had a headache and just wanted to relax the rest of the night. But when I got home they wanted to dress me up and take me to a wedding. I was in no mood to be a public spectacle at that particular point in time. But otherwise they seem like a young hip couple that I can already relate to a little and hopefully it will grow in time.