pre-Gnaoua update

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on June 21, 2010

Have you ever ridden in a taxi with a goat in the hatchback?

I did on my way over to the cyber café.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll head to Essa for a week to work at the Gnaoua Music Festival. 400,000 attendees are expected for a city that normally has 9,000 residents. PC Safety and Security team has already given PCVs a heads up on the high number of anonymous pickpockets. As such, my lovely laptop, along with my other valuables, will be staying locked up at my host family’s house.

I’m excited to see what everyone – older PCVs, people in my community – have been talking about. Then again, most of them don’t go because there’s so many people, it’s too expensive to participate, and/or they’re not interested.

20+ PCVs will be working in collaboration with Association de Lutte Contre de SIDA (ALCS). Another 50 PCVs will be in Essa to partake in the festivities. Acting PC CD projected 90 PCVs will attend Gnaouna. PCVs are renting two large fabulous riads: one for PCVs working at the event, another for PCVs visiting. Most PCVs will be from older staajs as my staaj is still under travel restrictions. Nonetheless, there are a few fresh PCVs coming up for the weekend – I’m so excited to catch up and hang out with those friends!

On festival days, Friday thru Sunday, I’m responsible for getting lunch to the PCVs working at the event. I coordinated with a local food vendor a week ago for sandwiches and pizza. On top of that, I will be working 2-3 fivehour-shifts each day during the festival. As you can tell, Gnaoua is shaping up to be busy and fun.

I’ll update when possible.


2 Responses

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  1. richard y said, on June 24, 2010 at 3:20 am

    What is the difference between the older staajs and your staaj? What does it mean that the younger (?) PCVs cannot attend due to travel restrictions? Does that mean the newbies are under travel probation… yet the “few fresh PCVs” are some how able to go?

    Tell me!


    • nauticalgal said, on July 1, 2010 at 7:07 am

      Stage (pronounced “staaj”) is the group of PCVs that arrived in country together at one time. My staaj arrived in March 2010. Older staaj arrived before, i.e., one in November 2009 and another in March 2009. Next staaj is arriving in November 2010.

      Newbies/younger PCVs: First 3 months of being a PCV, you are not allowed to travel out of your province (for work or leisure) or out of the country (for vacation). PC encourages us to stay in our site to better integrate into the community.

      A few “fresh PCVs” meant myself and 3 other PCVs in my province. I was able to travel to and work at Gnaoua without traveling out of province, essentially without breaking the rules, since Gnauoa was in Essaouira which is within province for me.

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