formality, for me

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on November 9, 2011

A few weeks ago, I was approached with a project idea: install electricity at a rural sbitar.

This evening, I went on a site visit to D’Har, an outer douar. I expected a tour of the sbitar and maybe tea.

What did I receive? A formal reception and presentation from the D’Har commune (community association).

First, private (read: not crammed into a taxi) transportation was arranged for me and D’har’s president to travel to D’har.

Second, I was taken to the sbitar and shown the problem: erecting a pole that would connect electricity from the road to the sbitar. Distance between road and sbitar: 30 feet at most. Not far.

Third, I was received in the home of one of D’har’s commune workers. Halwa (sweets) were already laid out on the table. Tea was prepared. Men came in, introductions were made, and conversation ensued. For the most part, I was a fly on the wall. I spoke but wasn’t especially chatty.

Fourth – and this is what caught me by surprise – the president presented the details of the project. He had obtained letters of permission from the Ministry of Health and Department of Electricity that authorized D’har to work with Peace Corps. He had even obtained estimates for materials. Normally, given the nature (work ethic) of the local culture, this stuff takes weeks or months to obtain! Here all of it was laid out in front of me!

Fifth, dinner was served. Food magically prepared and ready. Read: I encountered no women during my visit. Sad but true…

Sixth, a prayer was said to close the meeting. Oh, and pictures were taken, of course.

Seventh, I saw driven back to my site.

Still, even after 20 months, you still amaze me, Morocco.

Every day is another opportunity to learn something new.



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