Friday, March 1, 2013

Broken Bracelet

I feel like I have a pretty interesting story behind nearly every person that I became friends with while living in Morocco. Never before had I realized the various degrees in which people connect and the series of events that bring people together. Due to a leather bracelet breaking this week, one that I had been wearing for nearly two years, I will tell you this story.

Each region in Morocco has it's own "manager" of each branch of the government. One for youth and sports, transportation, water and forest, and so on. My first year in Morocco the leader of youth and sports (the branch of government I worked under) was not the most attentive man. He was supposed to be responsible for giving money and resources to the youth development programs in his area. He wasn't very good at it. After his term was up, around when I started my second year, we got a new, more attentive manager of youth development who worked in the regional capitol. He was a wonderful man. Friendly, helpful, and very attentive, even making several trips out to our small town to see what our youth center needed. 

One morning while sitting in the train station in Berrichid, awating my train to Rabat, I heard someone call my name. I was shocked someone knew me there, since I wasn't in my hometown. Turns out it was my regional manager of youth development. He was at the train station dropping off his daughter who was also catching a train to Rabat, where she was going to school. 

Asma and I rode the train together, the rest of the 90 minute journey. When we arrived at our final destination we exchanged phone numbers and headed off in different taxis bound for where we were going. I was in Rabat to see the Peace Corps doctor about my hamstring injury and told her I would call her when I was finished with my appointment. 

We ended up meeting up again and she, her friend, and I had dinner together, where we talked about Gossip Girl, a tv show we all loved, and walked around the market together. One thing that Moroccan women like to do for each other is buy each other small gifts, like cheap market jewelery, to show their friendship. While walking around the market Asma bought me a small, brown, leather bracelet, the one I was still wearing up until this week. I never took it off, since May 2011, all the time thinking about the sweet girl that bought it for me and the sweet friendship that it symbolized.

I never thought that I would be sitting in a train station, here my name called in a room full of strangers, and meet a girl who gave me a gift that still has me thinking of her close to a couple of years later. I can't wear the bracelet anymore but my memory of her is not gone.