The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, nor any other governmental or non-governmental organization.

Nor is anything written here necessarily drawn from my own views, opinions, and observations. Please consider all postings and pictures complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality. For legal purposes, please additionally regard the author as utterly imaginary.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Have yourself a moldy little christmas


Krista and I jumped ship to Vienna and Budapest for Christmas. It took over 30 hours in transit on the way there, and 30 hours in transit on the way back. We spent six days abroad. I don't want to compare those ratios, but I can say that it was absolutely, totally freakin' worth it. Holy hell. I love vienna and budapest and christmas.  It was like heaven, being with Krista there over the holiday.  I'll throw up some pictures on this thing when it's working properly, but I don't want to talk about the trip. It was too good.

Soon after arriving back, I broke down for the first time since arriving in country, some 9 months ago.  Returning from vacation is always difficult, but especially so here. I chalk it up, at least partially, to that phenomenon.

We left Budapest at 3 am, switched flights in Milan, and landed in Casablanca in the late morning. We had to wait until 11 pm before our train left and it didn't arrive until 9 in the morning, so we walked in the door at about 10:30. Long trip, with not a whole lot of sleep. We were happy to discover our cats were still alive, and the house wasn't totally destroyed (there's not much to destroy anyway). However, we also noticed two things, both of them highly unfortunate, although one in particular was really bad news.

For some reason our internet no longer works. I attribute this to the absolute morons who work for Morocco's largest telecom corporation, the same guys it took 6 personal visits and 2 weeks of waiting for them to flip a single switch, have screwed up again. I get frustrated when things don't function like they should. Usually this frustration comes out as anger or sarcasm. But not this time. I wanted to call home. I missed Christmas with my family and wanted to talk to them while they were all together. And I wasn't able to because of some idiots.

The second thing we noticed was mold. Shit. I either have a cold, or there is mold growing in my lungs. There is mold on our fridge. on the faucet, on my bags, on some hats, on some clothes, on some books, on the walls, on the ceiling, on the bed mattress, on the couch mattress, along the walls, on the food. there is fucking mold fucking everywhere.  My nose drips into the bucket of bleach as I fry my hands in this soupy biocide. We'll probably have to throw away hundreds of dollars worth of stuff, which is no small sum given our monthly allowance of 250 bucks.

This seriously sucks. The suckiness of the mold and of the internet got me down.  But that wasn't all.

I was lesson planning, or at least, trying to lesson plan. Then I realized that I don't like lesson planning. I'm not going to teach somebody how to speak English in 2 hours a week. I don't like pretending that it's possible. It seems silly and pointless. I'm not an English teacher. Why the hell am I spending all my working time teaching english? Why aren't I living in Budapest where I can drink a nice draft for 1 dollar?

All these things combined and I lost it. Cried. For the first time since being here. Thank God I have Krista to help me. We scrubbed out the mold as best we can, we're yelling at the telecom people today, have confronted our landlord to do something about the falling-apart building, and am making plans to diversify my workload.

I don't mean to say that I hate teaching. Once I get to the class itself, I enjoy myself.  I taught a great intermediate class on Saturday, a discussion about a passage in one of my favorite books, Ishmael. And it was great. But realizing while planning, particularly for beginner classes and grammar-heavy lessons, that the students are not going to really learn how to speak english, even after your best efforts, for the simple reason that there's not enough time, is difficult for me.

So, in order to make sure the next 17 months are as happy as possible, I am making some sincere new years resolutions.

1. Make sure each class is, in some way, fun.
2. Get regular, non-English-teaching-stuff going by the end of January
3. Get working on a larger project by the beginning of spring
4. Get rid of mold

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The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, governmental or non-governmental organizations.

Nor is anything written here necessarily my own views, opinions, or observations. Please consider all pictures and texts here to be complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality, this one or any other. For legal purposes, please additionally consider the author to be utterly imaginary.