housewarming in Akermoud

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 30, 2011

July 30-31, 2011: housewarming in Akermoud!

I enjoy catching up with friends over coffee. I had a really good conversation with a good friend at the gelato café in Essa. Yay.

Molly, one of the newbies in the Essa province, invited us all over for a housewarming gathering at her place in Akermoud.

Hooray for watermelon and a hanut stocked with enough junk food to make seven PCVs happy. Oh, and also for garlic/herb breadsticks and pancakes.

A wonderful idea before the month of Ramadan takes over. J


(almost) straight up Berber day

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 29, 2011

Today, I (almost) proved myself as a Berber woman.

This morning, I swept my entire house. The broomstick would not screw into the broom properly so after awhile, I just picked up the broom, knelt down, and continued sweeping. I finally understand what my grandmother, mother and aunts all mean when they say a room isn’t properly swept unless you are completely bent over when you sweep. The convenience of a broomstick actually makes you miss spots when you sweep!

Afterwards, I took a short nap.

Slightly before lunch, I went to my host family’s house. I cracked argon nuts. I bathed a child. I resumed cracking argon nuts until lunch.

For lunch, I used pieces of bread to collect my food. I also had couscous.

Need I mention that my host aunts have started telling me to stay in Morocco forever? They say my entire family can move here too!

After lunch, I resumed cracking argon nuts until my host aunt got tired. When she got up to nap, I got up and returned to my house.

In the afternoon, I cooked, or attempted to which is where the “almost” comes in. I wanted to make a batch, my first batch!, of red bean soup. However, I left in on the stove for too long that the water evaporated from the pot before I could add more. Now I’m left with burnt beans and a black pot. Fail. (Good thing I only used half the bag!)

Now, for the things I did today that would not constitute a traditional Berber woman:

Yoga in the morning. Mmm…doing yoga felt good this morning.

Reading for leisure.



i like my dreams

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 28, 2011

The highest joy of man should be the growth of personality.

– Johann Wolfgang Goethe

During my holiday In Spain, my dreams often related to me COSing from service. Except I was posted in China, not Morocco. COSing, even in my dreams, felt like such a big accomplishment. Looking forward to feeling the real emotions come May 2012.

This morning I woke up from a series of dreams.

Dream #1: I was at a wedding reception, sitting across a round table from one of my elementary school friends. One of my PC friends phoned said elementary school classmate, apparently he was one of our mutual friends, to find out whether I had brought anyone to the reception with me. I responded no. After my classmate relayed my answer to my PC friend, PC friend, apparently satisfied with my answer, then asked my classmate to keep me entertained until he arrived. Basically, PC friend, who was running late, asked my classmate to be his wingman until he arrived.

Equally if not more memorable than that scene was the dress I wore for that wedding reception. It was a long white heart-shaped (surprising since I don’t usually wear that style, then again, maybe that’s because I haven’t found any I like) dress with a floral design on the bottom made from a light airy material. Simply put, it was beautiful, tasteful and elegant. Must’ve been a spring or summer wedding then, haha. I hope I come across that dress one day! 🙂

Dream #2: Also wedding-themed. I was looking at wedding photos with a group of mostly female friends. This might’ve been a bridal shower…or wedding rehearsal get-together. Next thing I know, same PC friend from dream #1 appear with his partner-in-crime, except that they’re not in their regular clothes. Rather, they got a hold/into our suitcases and decided to play dress up because these two fellas are wearing two bold colored, short (and especially on them) tight dresses. They could hardly contain their laughter as they walked out to “model” their new looks. They looked hilarious in those tight dresses. Do guys ever grow up? Hahaha.

Dream #3: I was in the outside kitchen cooking with my mom. My dad had stopped by my mom’s place for a bit. After he left, my dad’s second ex-wife, accompanied by another man who I could only guess was her new husband, appeared at my mom’s house (except it wasn’t her actual house) looking for my father. I’m a terrible liar so I told them my father had in fact just been there. Maybe my mom knew more than I did because she negated my answer, saying he had not been there. As the three of them continued to talk (and I not wanting to be involved), I took the food I was preparing to the other outside kitchen. What’s strange about that dream is that, in reality, my father isn’t alive anymore.


5:45am train only means one thing…

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 27, 2011

If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place and to see things from his point of view – as well as your own.

– Henry Ford


5:45am train times only mean one thing for me: it’s time to return to my village!

5:45am: Train departs Rabat Ville, destined for Marrakech.

10:10am: Train arrives in Marrakech.

10:30am: Supratour bus departs Kech, destined for Essaouira.

2:30pm: Supratour bus arrives in Essaouira.

3:00pm: I’m in a taxi, headed back to my site.

There are times I’m glad that I can make it back to my site from Rabat in a day. For instance, traveling before Ramadan is difficult because much of the local people are also traveling so getting a spot on any form of transportation can be difficult. It’s times like these that I’m willing to pay a little more in advance in order to secure a seat for myself later in my journey.

Safe Ramadan travels everyone!

quarterly SIDA Committee meeting

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on July 25, 2011

Leaders focus on emotional issues that connect them with their team.

– John Zenger


July 25-26, 2011: Quarterly SIDA Committee Meeting in Rabat.

My thoughts on the above quote: I want to be that tuned into my team(s). Here’s to working on something new.