lmdrasa visit, bake night, amalou

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on April 30, 2010

This morning, my LCF surprised all of us with a chocolate bar in each of our seats, respectively. It was his way of congratulating each of us for passing the LPI. Woot woot!

Before lunch, we visited the lmdrasa (elementary school). I’m pretty sure I sufficiently embarrassed two of my four host siblings by showing up in their class. It was fun to recognize faces and useful to observe the classes. We walked around the small campus, inspected the restrooms, and asked questions about education and health.

This afternoon/evening/night, we baked the cookies and cake that will be served at tomorrow’s party. We prepped at school and baked at a CBT-mate’s house.

I made amalou(!), which is home-made [insert nut] butter. I made peanut butter and almond butter by combining roasted and raw nuts and vegetable oil. A dash of sugar is optional.

The end of CBT is bittersweet. I’m ready for the next part of PC yet I’m sad about leaving my host family and getting separated from my friends. I won’t have an LCF any longer. I won’t have a school or chef at school anymore.

On the flip side, I will go to permanent site. I will prepare for my own place. I will cook soon. I will get to travel and explore more of Morocco, not just Ouarzazat region. I will learn more of the language. I will identify projects and implement them. I will finally roll up my sleeves and work alongside people in my community, inshallah.

Lots to look forward to. J


limtiHan n Tashleheit

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on April 29, 2010

limtiHan n Tashleheit…safi! (Tashleheit test…done!)

LPI over, yippee!!!

I stepped up to the plate and was the first to interview. There were general questions (about me, CBT in Agouim, future in Imi nTlit) and one scenario (I was attending a traditional Moroccan wedding and had to talk about it). LPI was a lot more enjoyable than I thought. Results will come out in 2-3 days. Hope I did well, inshallah!

While someone was taking her LPI, my LCF imitated each of us who were done. In 6 weeks, he’s picked up on the gestures that each person uses when she’s learning and talking.

The more information one shares with locals, the more you’re asked about it, as was the case with the LPI. Every host family knew about it and asked about it afterwards. Granted, all the PCTs were nervous/stressed about doing well on it; nonetheless, it was yet another opportunity to practice Tashleheit with native speakers.

Following lunch, we all preceded to watch Bourne Identity and relax until class ended. When I got home, I ate an after school snack (leftovers from lunch – yum!) with my siblings. Afterwards, my host brothers went outside with their mother. I, on the other hand, found myself teaching my host sister how to ride a bike!

It all started with me asking host sister whether she knew how to ride a bike. Host dad taught her the oldest of her younger brothers. She didn’t. I told her I knew how to and that it’s a lot of fun. I also told her that all my friends here know how to ride a bike. My parents thought it was important for me to learn how to ride when I was young. On she went to the bike seat. I held onto the back while she peddled. She liked it a lot.

During evening tea, when she, her parents, and brother were seated at the table, I shared with them all that she learned how to ride a bike earlier. Little by little, I said, and her father agreed. It appeared that he was happy with this news, inshallah and lHamdullah! Teaching her to ride a bike is a fun yet significant skill building activity. One step forward for the females in this household, inshallah!

smell of fresh rain

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on April 28, 2010

Stay in Agouim. Don’t leave.

This morning during breakfast, I was telling my host mother about some of the differences between Agouim and my final site. For example, this house has 3 rabinis (faucets) whereas the other house only has 1 for the entire house. Her response surprised me: “Stay in Agouim. Don’t leave.” On top of that, when I went to pick up my CBT-mate across the way, her mother told us a similar message as we left for school.

As frustrating as this experience can be sometimes, it’s still about the people. They are willing to give so much even though they don’t have a lot. The good outweigh the bad.

Entire day was spent studying for the Language Proficiency Interview that’s taking place tomorrow. I had a productive day reviewing and practicing language, collecting my thoughts, and relaxing.

Clouds rolled over Agouim this afternoon. It rained between 5:00-7:00pm. Most of us stayed at school until the rain subsided. No problem.

I enjoyed the smell of fresh rain and the sound of it hitting the ground. There was a patch of grass growing in front of the house across the way. The color was so bold and vibrant that it contrasted so much with the gray skies and brown dirt.

I think everyone was in better spirits today. I studied some Tashleheit with one of my host sisters after I got home.

I’m off to bed!

goodbye Harold/Hero

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on April 27, 2010

“Ak irhm rbbi” (May God bless it, said when talking about someone who has/something that has passed)

Last night’s sleepover was fun! 🙂

Harold/Hero, the kitten, died today, despite our CBT’s efforts to care for him.

Last night, he woke up and cried/squealed several times. We thought he was hungry and cold so we fed him milk and kept him warm. One CBT-mate practically stayed up all night caring for Harold. He even went with us to school this morning. Nonetheless, Harold was not meant to stay with us. On the bright side, he left this world better than he entered. He was washed, fed, and cared for. Little did we know, we provided a hospice for Harold.

After Harold passed, a few of us went to bury him near the riverbed. This was my first animal/pet funeral. A few CBT-mates were pretty shaken up.

This afternoon, my LCF invited a few young women from Agouim to talk and practice Tashleheit with us. It was overwhelming but fun and useful to speak with different native speakers. We have a language proficiency test on Thursday.

This short period, just under two weeks, is a big transition and it’s causing a lot of stress on people, myself included on some level. As such, I’m taking more time for myself than I did previously in order to calm my nerves, find some tranquility, and (re)focus on this next part. Also, I’m distancing myself from others’ stress and anxieties because there’s no need to exacerbate tensions.

Tutoring was helpful. So was talking to the current PCV who is living/working here.

Let’s see…I’ll wrap up on a positive note: I have a bank account in Morocco now! Woo hoo! One step closer to officially living in Morocco! Oh, I spent some quality time with my host family/siblings tonight, too.

kitten rescue and sleepover

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on April 26, 2010

After school, three of us decided to take a walk in the fields. During the walk, someone needed to stop and pee. As me and my other CBT-mate waited, my CBT-mate decided to explore a few steps closer to the dry riverbed…and slipped! Haha. Luckily, my instincts kicked in and I reached out to grab her before she slipped off the edge and slid all the way down.

On the way back, we took a new/different path back to school. Walking up the hill, past the boulders, stones, dirt, and weeds, I pointed out to the others the spot where an orphan kitten was placed the day before. Lucky for the kitten, my friends are animal-lovers and they decided to rescue the kitten. For the record, I like animals but 1) am not a cat person and 2) since I know I’m not a cat person, I knew to inform others who are.

Lo and behold, my wonderful friends decided to save the kitten. We took it back to school, and with the help of my LCF and another friend, we bought milk and warmed it, and then fed it to the kitten. The kitten is the size of my hand – it’s so small that it still needs to be fed milk! After staying at school a few hours too late, we developed the following plan for the night:

CBT-mate who requested the mid-hike stop takes the kitten home to watch and feed for the night. Myself and friend offer to sleepover and share kitten-watch duty. We come over after having dinner with each of our families respectively.

After hanging out with CBT-mate’s family for a bit, the ladies and myself retire into CBT-mate’s bedroom for the night. Except that we plan to stay up a bit longer. We “snack” on (in actuality devour J) the pizza I brought from last night.

Currently 1:00am. We’ve set an alarm for 3:00am to feed the kitten.

It’s times like these that make fun stories and great memories!