Well this is going to be another ramble.
My stomach miraculously still appears to be functioning almost normally, thanks to daily double doses of the cheap equivalent of pepto-bismol. Luckily, the meds come in chewable form so I can still enjoy the flavor. I’ll be looking to get gummi-vites in future care packages (hint hint). Somehow I’ve started to wake up naturally, usually around 7:15-7:30 in the morning. I’m pretty sure this hasn’t happened in at least a decade. My body seems to be functioning normally, although exercise is still tough to come by. But yesterday I ran for the first time in a while- went to the track and did some loops. The track is made of mud and encircles a soccer field made of mud. I’d been warned away the track by one of the kids in my neighborhood; he told me there were “bad people”. He also said there were packs of mean dogs in the hills so I couldn’t go there either. He was wrong about the bad people but I’m not sure I want to risk the dogs just yet. Anyway, while at this track, somebody called me over by my name. He’d been doing pushups and situps and squats and so forth with a few other guys- and I had no idea who could possibly know my name. It turned out that it was a guy who works in the local government who we’d all been introduced to last week. He told me his exercise group meets Monday Thursday and Saturday at five pm (fortunately we’d learned the days of the week in class yesterday). I’m thinking I may show up on Thursday and show these guys how we do in America.
It turns out it’s easy to be recognized when you’re one of the three young white dudes in the whole city of Sefrou. Somebody else came up to me in an internet café today and knew my name and sort of what I’m doing here, because I’d met his friend in the Hammam (don’t ask). Things get weird in there. What happens in the Hammam stays in the Hammam. He told me that he really likes American culture and doesn’t like being in Morocco. He really likes basketball (Lakers fan) and was pumped about the US climbing to moon and walking around. That sounds simplistic and stupid but only because my functioning language level is simplistic and stupid.
Moving on, I went out of Sefrou for the first time- all the way to the big city of Fez/Fes. Turns out it’s only about 20 minutes away and costs a dollar, if you’re willing to be squeezed 7-8 in a car that fits 5. The temperature swung from 50 degrees to 86 during the previous 24 hours, so it felt hot as hell. Amanda was there; which was crazy, and crazy awesome in part because she’s the first person from the rest of my life to see me here. We wandered around in the Medina and looked at/smelled the tanneries, which are allegedly 800 years old. No wonder they smell like complete shit. I am definitely glad that we are stationed for now in Sefrou, which is much smaller and less hectic than Fes. Not to mention the tea in Fes was about 4 times as expensive as out here in the “burbs”.
Something completely different: we’re now about half way through spring camp. We’re working with maybe 75 kids of varying English ability and aged between 12 and 18. We teach a bit, which is good experience, but the time frame is only a week and we rotate classes so the goal isn’t really to teach anything substantive. Thanks to my low expectations regarding work-output gleaned from my time in Egypt and my early retirement this winter, I am adequately prepared for the experience. On the first day, I was surprised we met our students after only an hour or two of sitting around. I think tomorrow we’re going to learn some good English songs. Of course, we’re going to have to learn each song line by line. And when you look at the lyrics to just about any song line by line, you can read some pretty serious political stuff and sexual innuendo or both at the same time (think R Kelly). Bieber fever has hit Morocco but hopefully we’ll avoid that.
Oh, and the title of this entry? It’s the name of our group of kids at spring camp from the first day. Technically, they elected to just call themselves the eagles, but it was a close win over the best friends, and I’ve been pushing for the Best Friend Eagles, and I think it’s going to happen. It just makes sense.