Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanks.

Good news- I got the weekend of cinnamon rolls, American sitcoms and friendship that I needed. Michelle proved to be a wonderful host and I was thrilled to explore her palmerie, souq and simply relax in her home. Returning to site on Monday afternoon, I felt a renewed sense of comfort and the worries of last week faded into my distant memory. This week proved to be the beginning of what I hope the next six months will feel like in my site - challenging, busy and full of Moroccan companionship. Here is a brief summary and some highlights of the past few days:

- First two meetings with my Moroccan tutor, a fantastic English teacher who shares my cross-cultural interests and is excited to get involved with clubs and teaching at the Dar Chebab (youth center). He is patient with my inability to roll an "r" and knows more about phonetics and English than I do. He is currently working on his PhD focusing on the Western stereotypes of the East specifically in Sheikh Desert Romance Literature.

- Finally set a schedule with my supervisor for work at the Dar Chebab and will begin teaching roughly 15 hours in the upcoming week with additional hours at the Dar Taliba (the equivalent of a girls' boarding school), Aerobics at my host families' Tae Kwon Do studio and additional clubs beginning in the next month. Can't wait to get in front of the class!

- Tracking down the Darija word for "nutmeg," finding the correct stall at souq and being totally confused by the shell that my nutmeg came in. Still trying to figure out how to transfer this sort of nutmeg into what I can use for homemade Chai tea and loving the challenge.

- Fantastic fish dinner with my landlords' family including you tube videos and conversation in French regarding politics and the implications of Obama's re-election. We also discussed the possibility of an adult English class at the Dar Chebab, which I am anxious to get moving.

- Gift of homemade butter from the owner of the market, packaged especially for me!

- Getting lost in conversation with my host mom - five hours later realizing that I needed to move on to my next appointment and feeling generally disappointed that I had to leave.

- Skype sessions with baby Zoe, dad and Chanda - it's wonderful to have family and decent Internet.

- Being asked by a Moroccan friend to teach her how to read music. Hell yes!

Everyday this week I have returned home feeling exhausted but satisfied with my day. I feel incredibly blessed to share the lives of my Moroccan friends and know that good things are in store. I am right where I am meant to be. What an appropriate time for Thanksgiving!

*Big sigh of gratitude*

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