Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baking, Cat, Party and Storm

The day after my scorpion attack I went to visit friends in Tinjdad so I could steal an oven to do some baking. I have yet to invest in one, soon, very soon. It turned out to be a good thing that I had planned to stay the night there because the electricity went out in my village early Saturday morning. It was back on by my return on Sunday thankfully. I spent Saturday night baking chocolate chunk cookies, brownies and banana bread for the house warming party I was planning to host for my host family, friends and coop women on that Wednesday. The bread didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped, but the cookies were perfect and the brownies delicious. Then my friends made an amazing honey BBQ chicken pizza.

I returned to my site on Sunday but due to limited transportation options I didn’t return to my site until 5pm meaning I missed yet another Sunday to see my coop women, :(. I was very disappointed. Monday I did my own thing in the morning and then visited my current counterpart in the afternoon and my host family before heading back to my place.

Tuesday I had my regular tutoring in Errachidia. And I returned with a kitten! :). My tutor’s mother saved a kitten from the suq and had nursed it back to health but they did not want it. As I have been looking for a kitten I asked if I could have it, so now I have the most adorable, friendly little kitten that can also be a monster, haha. She’s a grey and white tabby that I have named Fiona. Below is one of the attempts I took at taking her photo. She really likes to curl up in my lap or on my stomach. It was lots of fun carting her back to my site, she didn’t appreciate being carried in a suq bag, haha. After I returned to site I visited my coop friend and new president for a bit. Below is a pic of my new kitten:

Then yesterday started off pretty good. I cleaned my house, carted out my garbage and started preparing for my house warming party. I had put my two rings and watch on a towel near the grate covered well and somehow I moved something that made one of the two rings jump and fall into the well. I was very upset as it was the white gold sapphire ring I had received for my 19th birthday, :(. Of course it couldn’t have been the cheaper less important silver ring. Unfortunately due to the construction of the well rescue of my room is impossible. The well is basically built on top of an underground river. I don’t even have a bucket to try to get down to the water as it is a source of water for another house. Hence to say very upset I was so careless as to put such an important item so near the well, :(. My only consolation for the day is the fact all the women that came to my party had a great time and enjoyed the goodies I had made. I had also made mini pancakes. Below is a photo of the spread and a photo of my updated bedroom, :).

There was also a pretty nice windstorm the other night, below are a few photos.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Scorpion Attack

So I have been told by many that scorpions tend to appear in the summer down here in the south during the summer. So I was thinking, I should be scorpion free until at least June. I was wrong. I’ve had a pile of garbage stacked in a corner from cleaning up the house after the previous volunteer. A scorpion must have come into the house at some point in the 2 weeks I moved in. The weather has been warming up, but didn’t think anything of it. I was walking to my bedroom this past Friday night and much to my fear and surprise I saw a small black scorpion crawling to my bedroom. At first I didn’t know what it was, then I saw the pinchers and tail. I think it was a baby as it didn’t have the fully developed outer shell. I was so scared. My first thought was “kill it!”. So I grabbed a small bag of garbage and threw it at it. It died. I should have taken a photo, but at the time I was only thinking I wanted it dead and off the floor. Hence to say I was paranoid the rest of the night. I hate scorpions!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And the ball starts to roll

I have been sick from Saturday night until Wednesday morning, :(. As you previously read, cow stomach, or as it is called here, cordez, is a bad idea with me.

Yesterday I went with some women from my coop to view the Errachidia Artisana and got to see their displayed items and go with one of them to drop off signed documents describing the new change in presidency as well as products used and needed and what has been made and sold. It was a learning experience for me. Also learned some women want to learn how to start making fabric for jalabas and scarves as they just received new machines. Things are slowly starting to come along. As my language and interaction with the women increases as does my knowledge of what they wish to do and what I can do to help them. The new president is very hopeful and motivated.

Language is improving, I can actually see it as well as women in my village. I had tutoring today and afterwards got my first haircut in Morocco and love it! Cut off about 2-3 inches of split ends, :). Now after I post this I will finish my haluwa shopping. haluwa = sweets. I am making several items this weekend at a friends' place so I can host a moving in celebration for people in my community, :).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekly Update

Not too much has been happening lately. I went to an English club meeting in Riche this past Sunday with some other volunteers in the area, it was a cool experience. It was interesting to hear Moroccan men and women discuss woman empowerment and equality.

The rest of the week was spent working on my house and visiting people in the community as well as tutoring. Friday I had couscous with some family of my host family which later made me sick. Cow stomach/intestines does not agree with my taste buds or my system. Then I visited one of my coop friends who is also the new coop president. They had elections while I was in Rabat. They are finally looking into getting their own space so they can meet whenever they want instead of only when school is not in session. This is exciting news for me. Then that evening a neighbor of mine came to check on me and see how I was doing, this was very sweet of her. I then proceeded to short circuit the electricity in my living room.

So on Saturday I went to Errachidia and did some house shopping, I now have a very nice wooden table. Then I went to my host family’s house to ask my host brother how to fix the electricity in my living room. Turns out it was an electrical issue and not just a simple fuse issue, so after the electrician precariously balanced on my new table and then on my bicycle, the issue was finally resolved. I now have working electricity!

Then Sunday I got very very sick from eating the above mentioned couscous. So I had to miss visiting my coop and stay in bed all day, :(. At least I am finally feeling better today. I just wish my language was better as well. Everyone tells me little by little, but I can only hope someday I am able to fully communicate with my community. I feel like I am so slow at learning this language.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Own House!

Here are some photos I took of my new house. It is definitely still a work in progress, but it coming along. I painted the bedroom myself and even created the color. I am also sewing my own ponge covers, one is nearly finished. When I go to my vsn (volunteer support network) training at the end of my month, I hope to have someone tile the floor of my bathroom. I am also planning to paint the walls and maybe get the shower head fixed so it is actually functional.

I moved in on February 1st and loving my new place, :). Never thought I'd have a house so soon in life, haha.

Enjoy the photos!

My awesome roof

my awesome roof

gotta have all angles

the room on the roof of my house

another roof shot

the bathroom, a work in progress

gotta love that turkish toilet

stairs to my roof

my living room, aka salon

one of the ponges with a finished ponge cover sewed by me, :)

my salon, work in progress

outside of my bedroom

my lovely fridge

my kitchen, also work in progress

the main room

the main room/kitchen

main room/kitchen

my entry way





my awesome bed