apple pie and the biggest house

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on September 12, 2010

Nine knife-peeled apples later, I can proudly proclaim myself as an apple pie maker! Everything was made from scratch – crust, filling, sugary-syrup that was drizzled on top of the cooled pie – YES!!! I can make apple pie now!

Actually, you can add powdered sugar to my list of accomplishments too. Needing powdered sugar but not wanting to leave my house, I had the brilliant idea of blending sugar in my mini-food processor. What a fa-bu-lous idea it turned out to be. The sugar indeed powdered and it was still hot when I opened the canister to extract it for the topping.

Okay, the top crust came out a little darker than I wanted but it’s not burned, lHamdulilah. I took a bit-size sample and it was delicious.

I made the pie for tomorrow’s English class. I also made Rice Krispie Treats, regular and caramel. Taste of caramel isn’t working for me. Anyway, it’s the last one before the school year begins and I want to thank the girls for attending my…Summer English Academy. Hahaha

This evening, I went to hang out with Latifa. Her family definitely lives in the biggest house I’ve seen in the village. In fact, I got lost trying to find the entrance I came in from. Haha.

I met her sister, Mina, who has a daughter named Yesmin. Yesmin has Down syndrome. Both Mina and Latifa are fabulous young women who have learned English from the previous two female PCVs. Woot woot.

I brought out WWHND and some of the pregnancy stuff I’m working on. Hamid, the brother who understands English very well, looked over the table of contents in WWHND and offered the following advice:

  • Teach the following topics because they happen to the women here:
    • Pregnancy
    • Breastfeeding
    • Growing Older
    • Staying Health
    • Sexual Health (for some)
    • Family Planning
    • Abnormal Bleeding from the Vagina
    • Problems of the Urine System
    • Cancer and Growths
  • Do not teach the following topics because they do not exists here (his words, not mine):
    • Female circumcision
    • Alcohol and Other Drugs
    • Rape and Sexual Assault
    • Violence Against Women
    • AIDS
    • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Other Infections of the Genitals

I received positive and constructive feedback, one being I need to find a woman who speaks both English and Tashleheit to help facilitate female health lessons.

I also met Latifa’s fiancé tonight. In the first 5 minutes that he met me, he asked about my “origins” and paired his question – actually, more like matter-of-fact statements – with the slanted-eyes gesture.

(For the record, the following is a rant and by no means my general opinion of Moroccans.)

Maybe I should’ve kept count of the number of times I’ve seen that since arriving in site? Or after I swore in as a PCV? Maybe as a PCT? How about the moment I stepped off the plane in Casablanca?

Sometimes I have the urge to respond with an equally offensive remark. I never do, though, because I know that would do nothing to curb ignorance, it would only perpetuate it. Instead I bite my tongue and try another approach: people in America don’t all look the same. It falls on nearly deaf ears.

I was quizzed for a few more minutes: did I fast during Ramadan? Did I pray like Muslims? Do I want to know more about Islam? I should want to learn more about Islam. Which is better, America or Morocco? Who is better, President Obama or King Mohammed VI?

As I prepared to leave, the sisters followed me out. At the door, Mina apologized on behalf of her sister’s fiancé. A really nice gesture but that’s not who the apology should come from. Then again, this is probably the first apology I received from a layperson in Morocco.


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