Community-Based Training: Tashlheit in Agouim

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on March 7, 2010

Two most burning questions since arrival for most PCTs are:

  1. Where will my CBT take place?
  2. Which Moroccan language will I learn?

Knowing the answer to the first question either calms or causes more anxiety. For the first, knowing one’s CBT site assignment helps you determine how far you’ll need to travel to return to Ouarzazate when we reconvene as a group during CBT. Knowing the second helps you narrow down where your final placement will be since most dialects are only spoken in certain regions.

CBT will be 9-weeks long, which consists of living with a host family, studying the language and learning about the culture, and simulating on a smaller scale the type of long-term/sustainable activities that I’ll be doing at my placement site. I will live, speak, and dress as Moroccans do.

Other highlights from today:

  • Learning Arabic! Language and Cultural Facilitators (LCFs) taught us survival Arabic today. I did fine learning with the group but my mind went blank when it was my turn to role play in front of the group. Boo. That means I need to integrate Moroccan Arabic into my blog…stay tuned. 🙂
  • Learning who my CBT mates are. According to the Health Program Assistant, several factors were taken into consideration when the groups were formed. Information was obtained from CVs and forms everyone completed prior to arrival. From what my mates and I gather, we all come from schools with strong academic backgrounds (Cal, Harvard, Columbia, Smith, and USC). Then again, who knows what else we had in common.
  • PCTs communicating honestly and openly with each other. Sharing their emotions and insecurities about being in PC, letting others in, knowing that they can trust each other to disclose private thoughts and feelings. I haven’t encountered my emotional tipping point (yet), inshallah, but ohers have opened up to me.
  • Learning how to wrap a scarf around my head. I’m not planning on wearing a scarf over my head for the next two years, but I will for special occasions. I also enjoyed learning another part of Moroccan and Islamic culture.
  • PCT phone list.
  • Hanging out with different sub-groups of PCTs throughout the day. Serious, funny, random, and ridiculous conversations. Priceless.

Tomorrow’s another early and busy day. I head off to my CBT site and meet my first home-stay family tomorrow!


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