Monday, August 17, 2009


The following is from an email was sent to a dear friend, Fabienne Gauthier, who was inspired to become a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco as well:

A lot depends on your site.  The first 2 months are intense training in culture, customs & language.  (You might want to study Moroccan Arabic before you come.  You'll probably learn one of the Berber dialects but Arabic is helpful.) With site assignment you will know better what the options are.  Some of my buddies have been assigned near cities and others are at really remote sites with water & electric only a couple of days a week.  I am lucky because I have everything at my fingertips: water, electric, hanuts, sibtar, souk, Cyber, hamman, post office, and cafes, only thing missing is a bank.
Because of my language lack I haven't made any "friends" but everyone is welcoming and affectionate.  They are amused with my stumbling tashilheet, but encouraging. Many of them, expecially tradespeople, understand a little English so we get by. Each day I study language, read a little and shop.  Right now my project is on hold until school reopens and Ramadan is past in October.  
Normally I have tutoring twice a week for two hours which takes most of the day since I have to travel an hour to the tutor and wait for transportation.  Some of my best hours of meditation are spent in taxi stands.  Right now the tutor is on vacation.  
There is a certain amount of washing of floors & clothes - the dust is wicked - and the heat is debilitating, so napping is a major thing for me.  It's quiet here at night.  Sometimes I sit outside with the neighbors & chat, or just read. Food is no problem.  Fresh fruits & vegetables are plentiful and cheap.
The apartment boasts two plastic chairs, two wooden tables, a fancy bed! and some kitchen stuff.  No blender, pressure cooker, or couscous pot and no refrigerator as yet, but mashi mushkil, no problem.  Just have to shop everyday.
And that's the scoop.  Keep the faith.  love Muriel