Yesterday I went to meet the director at one of the youth centers on the other side of town. We spent three hours making something to give to the schools around the city publicizing an environmental workshop we're running on Saturday. I found out that the guy who had said he would be working with me is probably peace-ing out and 'might show up for part of it'. Next I biked all over town to various schools to try and rouse up some participants. Got the usual questions:
"Do you live here?"
"Morocco is beautiful right?"
"Don't you like Islam?"
"Are you married to the other American who's here?"
"No? But do you co-habitat? really?"
"When are you going home?
"Where are your parents?"
And also managed to confirm 88 kids to come to this thing tomorrow, here's hoping some of them show up. In the mean time, the ministry of education tried to show Krista as explicitly as possible that they have no respect for her and are very important people with very important stamps to stamp on papers. Next, I found her bike stripped of its wheels and back gear-set even though it is inside our apartment building, locked to the railing. What an asshole. From running around to the schools I went directly to my intermediate class, which was actually great fun, as I had them discuss a sufi poem in a sort of Harkness-style class. Then I went back across town to meet with the director again and find out that the guy who had said he would be working with me is probably going to be there and would like some money from the director to finance the art class. And I went home.
Today, after a 2-hour eastern darija class in the morning, Krista and I made bacon and homefries and a coffee-banana milkshake to feel better about the whole bicycle thing, and then I headed back to meet with the guy who had said he would be working with me. He was a half-hour late, and then we spent two and half hours making a certificate of participation for the kids, and then another couple hours driving around town getting materials for tomorrow and then gluing things onto folders.
I have spent about 10 of the last 36 hours in in meetings with Moroccans. Usually this is fine and I'm cool with it but sometimes the whole 'culture' thing gets a bit overwhelming and, quite frankly, irritating. Such as the 40 year old principal of one of the schools asking first if I'm married and second if I live with a woman I'm not married to. I mean, seriously, how is that any of your goddamn business? Or the afore-mentioned guy who had said he would be working with me talking about Islam.
Him: "Mike do you pray?"
Me: "haha, no"
Him: "But Islam is nice, right?"
Him: "you know there are really beautiful girls in heaven right?"
Really dude? Why would there be beautiful girls in heaven? Do only beautiful girls get into heaven? Or does God only use women as a reward for righteous men? How exactly does this belief shake out?
I came back home, made myself an entire pizza and haven't started to plan for my 2 hour class tomorrow morning.