This week I hopped the train across the country. Door-to-door the trip is approximately 12 hours, 10 of which are spent on the train. This is a lot of time when you don't have an ipod.
Sometimes you can purposefully sink into a sort of semi-lucid, non-conscious blur for a couple of hours. I believe many old men in Morocco permanently exist in this state, most of them sitting at cafes and peering into a dimension wholly unknown to the rest of us. This is the ideal for traveling here. I usually fall short for a couple reasons, chief among them is the temperature. Trains are typically neither air conditioned nor heated. That means, for 10 hour night trains, you shiver all night long, and for day trains, you get real nice and greasy. So yesterday I sat in my own funk for 10 hours before I couldn't take it any more- got off the train early and took a couple of taxis to get home. alhumdullah I made it.
Traveling put my site into perspective. I stayed with two other volunteers. One of them has a bathroom that's about 6 square feet. The other lives in a huge city and could easily buy budweiser. Awesome. I had a meeting with a number of volunteers from the south who live in small, almost stone-age-sounding villages where people click and hiss as part of their normal language. Another volunteer I was talking with is often told in his town that people 'could kill him' for his non-islamic beliefs. In short, I feel pretty lucky.
Why did I travel? A couple of us are starting a new committee within peace corps' youth development program. We're trying to figure out how to be more inclusive of disabled students, attack the stigma against the handicapped, and prevent disability from happening in the first place. The Moroccan government has actually gone backward in this realm over the last couple of decades, and there hasn't been much formal work on it from our end either. So we've got a big job ahead of us, but it's a work project I'm excited about.
Time to go teach some kids. We're doing positive adjectives and letters to important women in honor of international women's day. (In Morocco, it's men's day 363 days a year).
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.