Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cheese Making and Biking

This month started off really crazy with the GRE and my asthma testing. I finally returned to site and hung out for awhile and then held a cheese making workshop for volunteers around the area. One of my friends came down to lead the majority of it. Was a lot of fun. One night we held a birthday celebration for a fellow pcv. I made sushi and cheesecake. Was so yummy. The workshop was very successful. Every fellow SBD volunteer in the region were able to come for at least one day of the workshop as well as several YP and a few JICA volunteers. JIPCA is Japanese Peace Corps. They do many of the same things that we do and there are several in the area. We did several cheeses using materials found only here in Morocco. We made several cheeses, each day being about 6 hours of making one cheese or another. We did Neufchatel, Yogurt, Gouda, Monterey Jack, Cheese Curds, Yogurt Cheese, and Feta.

After the workshop we got paid for March and I finally had some extra dirhams to finally get a nice 2 gallon cheese making pot, wooden cutting board and a nice floor length mirror. Still a few things on the list, but little by little.

Went on an awesome bike ride this past weekend, :). There were several of us who took about 3 days to bike from Errahidia to Ouarzazate. It was amazing other than day 2. Day one we biked from Errachidia to Tinjdad, about 75km. It was a nice ride, a little windy here and there but overall not bad. Pollution was a bit much for my asthma, but the last 20km weren’t too bad. My camera stopped working though so the only photos I have are the ones my friends put on facebook. Day 2 we had planned to go all the way to Boulman Dades… Yeah. The wind was so strong, at one point I was peddling and barely moving. We got into Tingrir and decided to call it a day and then got the great idea to reverse our trip. So we took a taxi to Oaurzazate and biked from there to Skoura. Such a great idea, the wind was at our backs and so much nicer. Then on Day 3 we finished out our trip by going all the way to Tingrir and then taking a bus back to site. Final day was tough as I managed to pull a muscle near my near, made peddling painful, but feeling better. Stairs are still an issue but I don’t have too many of those in my site. Though, the trek from Bouleman Dades to Tingrir was us going into a headwind again, no luck on that piece of ground. Feeling in such great shape now and we’re hoping to do a second trek around May to the coast from Bouarfa. Still working out details but would be so much fun.

Currently just resting up from everything. Made a Chedder cheese and attempted to make a Mozzarella. Cheddar looks good, Mozzarella tastes fine but didn’t stretch like it was supposed to. I really do need citric acid to make that one. But going to try again with a few changes and see how it works out.

Flies are coming out. Annoying buggers. So that’s the current update. A pretty busy month for me, this one should be more relaxing. Just letting the knee heal up so I can start biking again. Been lounging in site visiting people I haven't had a chance to see in awhile and thinking up new projects to do with my women and on how I can help them get their own building.