My worries about the rise of Saudi-style extremism have been dampened, if not fully extinguished. America is back.
I say this for two reasons. On Sunday night I traveled about an hour in order to watch the super bowl with half a dozen other Peace Corps volunteers in a nearby city. Somebody had managed to procure pretzels and Lays, Krista and I had spent hours making tortillas and baking them into chips to eat with some guacamole, and somebody else made hot wings (no idea how). We had the huge projector and a live stream and everything. It was awesome. Inevitably, there was a major technical failure. Surprisingly, it wasn't on our end. Turns out New Orleans, and probably the entire United States, could do with some serious infrastructure projects.
Anyway, you would think the power outage during the game would have me feeling down about the state of the States. And I did. But on Monday something happened that made me feel a whole lot better.
A former volunteer, current culture guy at the US embassy was in the city and happened to give Krista and me a ride back to town in the huge, probably-bullet-proof embassy car. He was headed to our town for a small cultural event at a private after-school place in town and invited us to meet him there later, which we did.
These kids could speak English! I mean, they could express real ideas and show actual critical thinking in English! It was crazy. There were dozens of them. I had no idea there were so many kids in my town who were capable of that. The topic of the discussion they had was about "preserving our culture". Most kids were wearing skinny jeans. And speaking English. Ironic.
Of course, they're probably the richest kids, so not exactly my target group, but it was great to see how good they were at English, and, by extension, how awesome America is.
The second thing in the last couple days that made me feel like we stand a chance against the Saudis was that I met an American. There are, incredibly, two other Americans living here. They play for the basketball team as professionals. The one I met went to LSU. He has been here for 4 months. This is absolutely amazing to me. And was equally amazing to him, especially since he speaks no French and no Arabic. That brings our ranks to .0021% of the town population. We're taking over.
In totally unrelated news, I need to be better about cleaning my cooking pot. Heated up some water on the stove for a shower after dinner and wound up with some noodles in my bucketbath.
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.
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.