In Peace Corps Morocco

Strong Women

Part of my job here is to lead through example and tonight I took that opportunity to do just that. After driving home from the youth center my Moroccan father, Moroccan sister and, I were getting out of the car when I asked them to talk to a man in a store nearby about some Moroccan sofas for me. I had visited the man earlier that day and was pretty sure that he wanted 250 Dh for them but I wanted to be sure. We spoke with the man and my father was able to talk the man down 50 Dh so I ended up getting 2 for 450 Dh. I was very excited about this find because I was anticipating paying twice that amount.

The man agreed to let me take the sofas right then and return the next day with the cash. He was going to have one of his shop workers take them to my house which was only about 40 feet away. My father suggested I tip the man for his services, but he also insisted he would tip him since he had the money on him. I wasn’t convinced that I needed the shop owner to help us get these small couches home. There were 4 of us standing there, my father, brother, sister, and myself and I didn’t see why we couldn’t carry them. 

At this point I began insisting that I could do it. My father and the men in the store said “no, no, they are very heavy.” Well it was obvious I couldn’t do it alone and no one else was stepping up instantly to help me. I looked at my sister Rababe and said “you can help me right?” With a big smile she told me of course she could. I gave her a fist bump and said “girl power” and we were off. My father reminded me how heavy it was and at that point there was no turning back.

We got it to the front door of the apartment then we stared down the 3 flights of stairs we had to go up. Rababe didn’t hesitate for one second. Little by little we got the sofas up the stairs, all the while the lights went on and off due to the heavy wind we were experiencing.

I could have backed up and let the man carry the sofa, on his own, with no struggle, up the stairs, in about a minute flat. But since coming to Morocco my stubbornness has increased 10 fold and I refuse to let people tell me what I should do. Sometimes I have little or no control over what is going on, so when I see the opportunity to control a situation I run with it.

When we were finally finished I hugged Rababe tight, thanked her, and told her women can do anything and we don’t need men’s help. I could tell she was proud of herself and she agreed whole heartedly with what I told her. I couldn't let this opportunity go by to show both her and the men involved that women are strong and independent.

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