A Week into PCT

Blog Update for Fes Training One (January 29th)

So my training site has zero internet.  Period.  Even with an internet stick, it would take about an hour to load Google.  So my updates will be few and long until late March when training ends and we are sworn in—finally changing from Peace Corps Trainees to Peace Corps Volunteers.  We have to two months until then.  That time with be jam-packed with Darisha (Moroccan Arabic) lessons, culture lessons, working with kids at the Dalshabob, and the like.

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Our adventure truly started when we left Oscar Hotel in Rabat.  After a week of training, we were truly on our way.  Three bushes took us from Rabat to Fes.  This two hour drive included a 20 minute break in which I got to experience Moroccan candy and impatient Bus drivers who wanted to leave even though there were people going to the bathroom (lucky for us, Peace Corps facilitators are amazing).

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The drive was beautiful.  I became very close with Carrie and Amanda during the drive.  We spent most of our time talking about TV shows (Doctor Who and Breaking Bad).  We frequently stopped to ohh and ahh at the changing scenery.

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We got to the Dalshabob in Fes in the afternoon.  We went out for a nice lunch (I got cheeseburger).  Then we all went back and started saying our goodbyes.  There are so many Peace Corps volunteers in our group that we won’t see a lot of people that we got close too until we are sworn in two months from now.  Our group was the last to leave because it’s hard to get a Taxi on Mohammed’s anniversary—especially when you are going to the middle of nowhere.

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The taxi drive was very exciting.  Apparently the name of my town is the name of a neighborhood in a large town nearby.  The driver thought we were going to neighborhood.  When we got there, our facilitator told him we needed to go to the town.  They all got out of the car and argued for nearly ten minutes.  Lucky for us, our personal facilitator is amazing.  She made it so we weren’t left on the side of the road.  We got into town, divided, up, went with our families, and were shown to our rooms.

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The first few days in this town have been all over the place.  In the end, however, I have become very comfortable.  In just three days I went from feeling like a guest to feeling like a part of a family.  I still can’t speak with them very well (no one knows English).  I live in a house with a father (Hadima), a mother (Fatima), two sons (Sofian and Mstaffa), Mstaffa’s wife (Miriam), and their four month old child (Aness).

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I was not among the lucky PCTs who receives a Western toilet.  Luckily I stocked up on toilet paper in Rabat (I just can’t do the left hand thing…………I just can’t).

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We have language lessons every day at the Dalshabob (and anywhere else we go).  My brain in saturated with Darisha.  I am taking it a little at a time.  The sun even came out a bit the last two days…which allowed us to come out from our classroom for our Saturday lesson).

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On Sunday we explored the village and its surrounding area.  The snow-capped mountains were finally visible.  I honestly feel like I’m back in the Rocky Mountain.  There is no indoor heating, so that does mean these months will be cold.  But I came prepared.  I wear three layers days and night and sleep under four wool blankets.  It is worth it to be somewhere so beautiful.

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I am now 2% done with my Peace Corps service.  I hard to think I was still in America only two weeks ago.  This had already been the experience of a lifetime.  I will keep you—my faithful readers—updated as often as I can.  Make sure to subscribe so you can see every time I update.  If all goes well, there should be 26 months of experience ahead of me.

 

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