Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Haircut



I decided to chop off all my hair because the split ends were getting so bad. I think it turned out well other than the fact it cost me 200dh! I've only ever paid 30dh here in Morocco, so I was very shocked. I should have asked before hand, but I thought it was only going to be about 60dh, boy was I wrong.
Otherwise my trip to Rabat has been ok. The trip itself has been good, but they can't figure out my knee pain. I don't know if I pulled a muscle or what, but wearing a knee wrap doesn't even help the pain, and it's only my right knee. Had some x-rays done that showed nothing. The pain has been getting steadily worse and the more I walk on it the more pain it causes me. I guess I'll just have to learn to live with it. Someone told me it was due to lack of exercise, I guess walking 1-2 miles per day and riding my bike 35km once or twice a week isn't considered exercise.
Well, I should get some things done, I'll keep everyone updated on whether or not my knee ever improves!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It’s been a very busy month for me. I had volunteer support network (VSN) training February 27th through March 3rd. It was a really great opportunity for me and I had a good, albeit exhausting, weekend. Then on the 3rd I had to head straight to Rabat to have my ear looked at again. I stayed with a friend on the way up, then woke up early and took a taxi into Rabat on the 4th. That was a very long day as well as cold and rainy. I checked into my hotel around 10am, went to the Peace Corps Headquarters right after, then had an 11:30am appointment with the ear specialist. As with all doctor offices, I had to wait awhile and didn’t get in to see the doctor until 12:30pm and got out around 1:30pm. Basically he just did the same tests and gave me more medicines with a diagnosis of “elevation”. Basically he said my ear issues are due to an elevation change. I thought it was silly at first, but then I thought about how my ear issues didn’t develop until I arrived in Errachidia. I just hope to regain full hearing in my right ear again someday! Then I went back to Peace Corps Headquarters to get my travel/medical reimbursements. I was mad because all the pharmacies were closed between 2pm and 3pm and the hotel guy to get my hotel receipt was also absent. So unfortunately I was unable to get a full reimbursement. Then I made a trip to Marjane so I could get some dry cat food for my kitten. I finally got a bite to eat at McDonalds around 6pm. By this point I was so hungry and McDonalds tasted wonderful. It's always a nice treat for me, but I do miss Subway. Then I slipped and fell pretty hard on my way back to the hotel, but nothing major. Just bruised my thigh a little. It was amazing to take a nice long hot shower. The longer I am in the site the more I consider getting a hot water heater put in. The next morning went really smoothly. I woke up and had a great breakfast before catching the on time 11:15am train to Meknes. This is where things began to slide. Turns out the road between Azrou and Midelt was snowed in, unfortunately Midelt was my destination. The taxi guy told me to go all the way to Guercif to get to Midelt. Guercif is right by the border of Morocco and Algeria and a very very long detour for me. Lucky for me my friend called and told me to go through Khenifra. It was raining the whole way and I almost got stuck in Khenifra, but lucky for me a taxi managed to get filled and I made my way to Midelt. It was so cold in Midelt! Then the next morning I finished my travels to Errachidia and back to site. I was very happy to pick my kitty up from my friend and to sleep in my own bed for one night.

Then the next morning after shutting my cat in the room on my roof with lots of food and water I made my way to Tinjdad to help a friend out with an International Women’s Day project. I spent two nights there and the women’s day was a success. We had several successful Moroccan women come in to speak about the new Mudawana act as well as AIDS, women’s health, and several fun thought provoking activities. At the end of the day we had a party for all the participants. I just wish I was better able to speak and understand Darija.

I returned to site early Monday morning and the first thing I did was let my cat out of the room. She was crazy. She ran out of the room and hid under my fridge. I moved my fridge and she ran back up to the roof and either went to a neighbor’s roof or jumped off, not sure. I was very upset. She ended up returning later that day which made me very happy. I also visited my host family and my coop friend.

Tuesday was very tiring. It was the holiday where Moroccans celebrate the birth of the prophet Mohamed. I visited 6 Moroccan families and drank so much sugared tea. I had also done some laundry that morning. It was very nice to return to my house at the end of the day and rest. I was so exhausted from all my trainings and travels that I had slept in until 10:30am. Still recovering a bit, haha. And now I get to travel back to Rabat again next Sunday for a Tuesday appointment. Taking care of a personal issue as well as having my knee looked at. My right knee cap has been aching lately and I feel it’s time to finally break down and have it checked out. I feel like I am beginning to get to know Rabat more than my own site. It’s funny how I have a friend who lives an hour outside of Rabat and I have been there more than she has now, and I live about 10 hours away. 5 times in 4 months is quite a bit. Inch a’llah I won’t have to go back again until my warden meeting in May.

This month is very busy for me. After the Rabat trip I have a regional small business development sector meeting in Oarzazate on the 20th and then I will be assisting with a spring language camp the 29th through April 5th. I am hoping to get wireless internet soon which would be amazing!

Yesterday I had a tutoring session in Errachidia with my tutor which was very nice. I had biked to Errachidia and back to my site, it felt very good to get out and exercise a bit. After I returned to my house, about 35km later, I was very sore and sweaty so I took a very nice hot solar shower, :). I just rested the rest of the day as it was a vacation day for me.

Today I taxi'd it in due to my knee being sore from biking. I forgot how hard it can be to get a taxi after a holiday. I waited 2 hours and 15 minutes before a taxi finally stopped for me. I've never had to wait that long. Hence to say I was unable to meet my tutor, :(. It'll be a week before I am able to have a lesson. I did finally make it in and will be meeting a friend for lunch before heading back to site. I want to start assisting one of the women with designing and creating a skirt. Very excited about helping her out with this project, :).

Otherwise, I will be heading to Rabat on Sunday as it is a 2 day journey for me. I hope all goes well!

llay 3awn! (may god help you, a form of saying good bye)