makethislast

thank you, taxpayers

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on September 11, 2010

Taxpayers,

Thank you for making this opportunity – serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer for 2+ years – available. As is being confirmed through this experience, most Moroccans and Muslims are friendly, thoughtful people.

Every now and again, I rattle about how the local officials keep me under a microscope. They keep track of my every move outside of site. Today, they’ve proven the purpose of their role even more: to keep me safe.

This morning, being the anniversary of 9/11, the captain of the local gendarmes visited my house even though it looked like he had the day off. Through a local translator (a man who lives in the community and speaks both Tash and Darija), the captain advised me to stay in site in order to avoid any anti-American sentiment that may arise in Morocco on this day and from the scheduled-yet-cancelled Koran burning in Florida. Thank you Peace Corps for enabling this American-Moroccan/Muslim exchange!

Coincidently, first part of my day consisted of doing the most Moroccan (woman) activity possible: laundry while wearing a moo-mou (TBA on Moroccan name for the garment), a one-piece, floor-length, figure-unflattering (though much can be left up to the imagination, I s’pose) but oh-so-comfortable piece of fabric that could be mistaken as a dress with a fun pattern and bright colors. The captain was surprised to see my laundry system out: buckets of water, wet clothes hanging on lines. He jokingly asked why I didn’t use a washing machine. Easy answer: it’s too expensive.

It was the perfect day weather-wise to do laundry, 4 loads of hand-washed, feet-stomped laundry to be precise. There was just the right amount of sun intensity and wind breeze to hang dry my laundry without the clothes getting fried. Fresh and soft, sun-dried laundry, love it!

I had fun in the kitchen too! Newest additions to my dishes in Morocco: vegetarian noodles (as marked by the packaging…though I think they’re really egg noodles), chili peppers (free from the produce guy in Essa!), and ginger (adds a kick of flavor). Yummy goodness!

Feeling a little patriotic, I (re)watched Fahrenheit 9-11. To wrap up my evening, I started reading Half the Sky. Yes, I finally have a copy of it (thank you momma and brother!).

This is the type of cultural exchange, international/foreign development, and personal growth that taxpayers should willingly and rightfully pay for. Not a war that disrupts lives, ill-prepares people for life outside of the military. Or that perpetuates anti-American sentiments.

Military isn’t the only (nor best) option for people who come from humble beginnings and want to learn new things and travel the world. Clearly, that’s not the path I took. I chose the education route instead…and that has made all in the difference in my outlook of the world.

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