sweet CBT retreat

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 31, 2010

My playlist during PPST:

–       FIFA World Cup 2010 soundtrack

–       Shakira

–       Alicia Keys

I spent the morning and most of the day chillin’ poolside. It was sooo wonderful hanging out with PCVs, not having a full-day of training, and having meaningful one-on-one conversations with people. The last activity is definitely one of my favorites during PC.

Aqouim’s CBT retreated to the one place where it could rest, relax, and recharge: PCV LS’s house. We ate delicious home-cooked food: : apple crisp, pasta salad, and peanut butter cookies. This weekend escape also strengthened my CBT group’s bond. Yay.


Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 30, 2010

This morning’s presentation on a Peer Education program really inspired me. Not only that, but I’ve thinking along the same lines for my site. I think it’s doable.

This afternoon, there was a SIDA presentation. Guess who was one of the two presenters?! That’s right – yours truly! Basic outline of the presentation:

–       Introduction

–       “Informational Video on HIV/AIDS”

–       Goals and objectives

–       SIDA Committee and the SIDA representative (me!)

–       Past experiences

–       Resources

–       Condom demonstration! (It’s important for both males and females to know how to put on/take off a condom so I asked for 4 volunteers – 2 males, 2 females – to assist in the demo. Each “team” consisted of one male and one female. On team A, the male put on/took off a condom while the female pretended her hand was a penis. On team B, the female put on/took off a condom while the male pretended his hand was a penis.)

–       Brainstorming: possibly activities, possible community partners

–       Drafting a SIDA project/activity that could be executed in each person’s site

–       Presentation by SIDA Sud, Moroccan NGO

If it wasn’t for the SIDA Sud presentation, I wouldn’t have learned that there’s a brothel nearby this hotel.

I had a ton of fun co-presenting today. 🙂

MCH and familiarity of home

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 29, 2010

Congratulate yourselves on the past 3 months [being at final site, living in home stay, moving into your own place, conducting a community analysis, etc.]…You’ve pushed yourselves and learned how far you can go.

– Rachid, Program Assistant for Health Sector

I think the focus of PPST is to provide technical training to PCVs. lHamdullah! If the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) session was any indication of what I can expect from sessions during the rest of this week and next, I’m excited.


–       Prenatal are may be available at my site. Perhaps women are going to the bigger sbitar(hospital) in the next town over but the reality is I’ve seen less than a handful of pregnant women come into my sbitar (community clinic) for prenatal check ups. On the other hand, I’ve seen several dozen women visit the sbitar with their newborns and infants to receive immunization shots.

–       Time revolves around events, not days of the week. Many women are illiterate so they don’t look at calendars. Rather than tell women to start the pill on the first Sunday of the month like doctors do in the US, women should be encouraged to take birth control (“the pill”) on the 1st souk day after their period ends.

Find a way to associate an event with an important activity such as taking the pill at the same time everyday. Recommend women take pill before their desired call to prayer (early morning, morning, lunch, afternoon, evening). Since there’s always a man at mosque announcing prater time, women can rely on the call to prayer for accurate time. Prayer time is already a part of their life.

Knowing a place, speaking the language, friendly people (albeit my foreigner card) and being able to run errands without worrying about getting ripped off – that’s the meaning of home! I used my lunch break to run errands and was able to return back to the hotel in an hour.

–       Usually a “salaam wa3alaykum” (Peace be upon you, equivalent to a hi) puts me on people’s radars.

–       Bank, being respectful yet assertive so that people cut in front of me (lines/queues hardly exist in (rural) Morocco)

–       hopping into taxi with two other passengers (drivers pick people up along the way, filling a spot whenever one’s open, not like the US where it’s one passenger, one destination)

medical session and hairstylin’

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 28, 2010

If you haven’t shit in your pants during service, you don’t have diarrhea.

– Former Area Peace Corps Medical Officer

Medical sessions are always entertaining, if nothing else, for the new facts and stories we hear from the PCMO Nurse who is an RPCV and has worked in several PC countries and thus with countless PCVs and their bowel movements.

Other medical session highlights:

–       One of the ingredients in Coca Cola works as an anti-nausea

–       Egg floating test to determine if an egg is good to eat:

Place the egg in a container of water. If the egg sinks and lays horizontal, it’s good to eat. If the egg floats and floats vertically, it’s a bad egg.

As a PCV, every dirham counts. As such, even if an egg doesn’t pass the floating test, I may or may not toss it out. I may still cook and eat it.

On another note…

I’m not sure how I was selected but over the last few days, several female PCVs (and even a male) approached me and asked if I’d cut (trim) their hair for them to get rid of split and damaged ends. Yeah, of course!

Welcome to D’s Beauty Salon!

I “officially” started “business” today. By officially I mean I snipped the first of my “clients’” hair; by business I mean my services are free and that there were a white plastic chair and pair of scissors for me to use; and by clients I mean 5 fellow PCVs.

I’m honored my fellow PCVs trusted me enough to handle their hair. I had fun snip, snip, snipping away damaged hair. Maybe I’ll get a few more before the end of PPST. Maybe I should start building a portfolio. Any salons looking for a new hairstylist? 🙂

pictures, pictures, pictures!

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 27, 2010

In these last 5 months, I’ve written a lot about my Peace Corps experience. I’ve also seen a lot that I’ve wanted to share. Alas, that moment has arrived!

5 months’ worth of pictures are finally posted, click on the links:

Enjoy until the next batch of pictures go up! 🙂