insights at midnight

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on August 31, 2011

Mbruk 3id n Ramadan, everyone!

Another Ramadan has come and gone.

I was woken up by my host sisters and their cousin this morning. They came to fetch me so that I could have breakfast with the family. After breakfast, I went up to the hillside with the girls to watch the men and boys go prayer. Escaped back to my house mid-morning.

I called my CBT host family and spoke to Atika and Boukm3a, the parents. I miss them and the kids bzaaf! Hopefully I’ll get to see them soon.

For lunch, I made eggplant lasagna from scratch – woohoo! I was possibly exposed to too much carbon monoxide in my kitchen. Luckily, my house has an open courtyard so I was able to get much more oxygen in my body than was available in the kitchen.

Little Fatima’s family invited me over for dinner.

Observation: There’s a rice meal eaten during 3id in Ramadan.

I’ve been burning the late night/early morning oil lately. It’s wonderful to experience epiphanies and uncover personal insights during these quiet hours. Better than anything a therapist or counselor could do, haha.

bslama Ramadan

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on August 30, 2011

Tonight marks the last night of the holy month of Ramadan.

Bslama, I say, bslama.

Highlights from my evening with the host family:

  • One of my host aunts and sisters henna’ed my hands. My orange palms and fingers are straight up Moroccan Berber. The spots on the backside of my hands are, however, the work of my aunt and sister’s attempt at creativity.
  • I found out my host father works for a flour production company in Agadir. It’s one of the big brands that you see commercials of on TV. He was telling me his work schedule. 6:00am-2:00pm, 2:00pm-10:0pm, 10:00pm-6:00am. The shifts rotate weekly. 150 people work at this factory. He was telling me how his compensation factors in his labor as well as number of children. I didn’t completely understand. He admitted to missing life in IminTlit. Understandable. After all, it’s where he’s lived all his life and his wife and children are here. Fortunately, Agadir is less than a day’s travel away.
  • The oldest and second oldest host aunts did not go to school. My second oldest host aunt knows how to speak and comprehends Arabic (self-taught) but does not know how to read or write.
  • I hung out/washed dishes with the youngest host aunt. She’s 16 years old and wants to be a teacher when she grows up.
  • My host brother really doesn’t like wearing pants. He doesn’t wear underwear either. Fortunately, he’s only 3 and can get away with this.
  • 16-year-old host aunt is menstruating and bought a (child’s) diaper to wear…not quite sure why she chose a diaper in lieu of a pad. Perhaps a heavy flow?


Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on August 29, 2011

One explanation for Peace Corps’ CBT assignments and final site placements:

NYT: When Roommates Were Random

and to Dalton Conley, the article’s author, Go Bears!!!

cat-calling Asian females

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on August 28, 2011

Disclaimer: I’m channeling out my frustrations into this post.

What Asian female stereotype are Moroccan males exposed to?

Moreover, what is it about Asian females that drive Moroccan guys crazy to the point where they feel compelled to hurl catcalls at us?

Sometimes…many times…staying in Essaouira is more stressful than the trip is worth.

Like today for instance.

In site, I’m less a less exotic species now because they’ve had over a year with me. I still hear people mumble about me on the street when I walk through which is different from the experiences I encounter outside my village.

I came into Essaouira and decided to spend a night here because I have several errands to do, some which can be taken care of on a weekend day, others that can only be completed on a weekday. I also came because I wanted a change in scenery from that of my site, get a breath of coastal life.

What I forget in coming into Essaouira, however frequent my trips are, are the catcalls. The frequency of them. The intensity of them. The level of distaste I develop against Moroccan males because of them, these catcalls.

I am neither the first nor the last Asian-descent female to walk around and through the medina so it truly baffles me when I encounter so much racial verbal harassment. While we’re being honest, let’s not deny the tinge of sexual verbal harassment that’s accompanied with the verbal type.

My style of dress today? Let’s see: visor and sunglasses. Hair pulled back in a bun. Scarf literally wrapped around my shoulders and arms. Backpack on. Loose pants, length up to my calves. Sandals on my feet.

I find it utterly shocking and distasteful (not to mention so many other adjectives) that males will still hurl catcalls at me when they are walking hand-in-hand with a young girl. Really, guys, is this how you want your daughters, sisters, and mothers treated on the street? Objectified for their appearance?

This is why I’ll pay six dirhams to ride in a taxi instead of walking a short distance when I’m by myself. Sometimes (all the time) I just don’t feel like dealing with the harassment, ya know?

What does it matter whether I’m Chinese or Japanese? “Oh wow, you finally guessed correctly!” Do you really think, that by “uncovering” my ethnicity I will feel inclined to socialize with you? No, thank you.

Hsuma 3lik, Morocco, Hsuma 3lik.

Good thing PC’s conducting a Asian American female focus group soon! (Suggestion: PC should conduct a Moroccan male focus group to find out what it is about Asian females that intrigue Moroccan males. Recruit LCFs to help, that is, if they’re not willing to be honest and forthcoming about what they know about the intrigue.)


yoga and Yo-Yo Ma

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on August 27, 2011

Weekend warm up: yoga and Yo-Yo Ma.

Considering I slept at 4:00am and woke up at 8:10am (not by choice but rather by phone), I I figured this was a nice way to ease into my weekend.

Sometimes, all you gotta do is ask to see what’s possible.

Case and point: Asking PC staff if the regional meeting could take place in Essa instead of Marrakech.

Answer: Yes!

Updating my happily ever after. I don’t want prince charming. I want a partner.

My philosophy on relationships…or rather, my “fairy tale” (because I’ve never thought of one before): relationship based on friendship.