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.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


It's cooled down to 102 degrees, alhumdullilah. I am bored.

This past week it seems as though I've been defining my life by what isn't happening, rather than what's in front of me. Perhaps this is because there is literally nothing in front of me. I'm spending all my mental energy thinking about what's 10+ months in front of me. And watching tv.
I've been bored. Luckily, however, Ramadan is coming to an end. The day after tomorrow, thousands of people from town will congregate on the highest hill (which is a huge, empty lot), to pray together as the sun comes up. Maybe just men, I'm not sure. Then they will drink tea and eat cookies for about 24 hours in celebration of the end of fasting. A day or two later, I'll be peeling out of town on my way west until I hit the Atlantic. In el Jadida, which is a little south of Casablanca, I'll do 10 days of summer camp and then come back for the end of August.

Friday, August 2, 2013

500 days

500 days ago, I was in America. It's been a while.

So what's my day-to-day like now?

Wake up
Study Arabic
Make lunch
Prepare grad school applications/play on the internet
Either make dinner or go to someone's house to break fast (I am not fasting)
Watch the West Wing

It's Ramadan. It's 102 with 30% humidity. And there's no running water. Nor have I done anything remotely close to 'work' in about 6 weeks. But I'm doing okay. I have another week of mercilessly killing time before an English-language summer camp on the Atlantic coast and I think I'm going to survive.

Maybe two weeks ago I returned from vacation with Krista. It's always hard coming back from Europe- the other two times I've done it, I had a distinct case of the blues for a long time. This time we pre-empted the doldrums by hanging at a nearby beach for a couple days with some other volunteers. Cost of the hotel on the beach: six dollars a night.

Of course, some things about coming back in summer are tough. The enormous, disgusting flying cockroaches that crawl out of our hole-in-the-ground toilet being one of them. Another is the lack of distraction. But the biggest problem is that it's Ramadan. People are hangry. It's hard to leave the house because everybody's wandering around like zombies, and few businesses are open. And some people crack.

I was standing on the corner for about an hour and a half waiting for a bus that might go to the beach. It was about 8 in the morning and I saw a group of guys laughing and doing what looked like gambling, on a bench across this sort of open plaza in the middle of downtown. Somebody must of drawn a lucky (or unlucky) hand and everything changed. Two of the guys started this silly dance that could be called public fighting. The way it works is, you maybe make one swing at another man and then all your buddies hold you back, and all his buddies hold him back, but they still let them yell in each other's faces, and then one is pulled away, but then his buddies let him rush back, but then hold him again and they yell in each other's faces again. This was all normal, so I wasn't particularly worried. But then the swords came out.

Yup, sword fight. Maybe they were technically knives, but they were probably 18 inches long and these guys were trying to hack each other apart. It was like Aladdin, but without music. Somehow their friends still managed to drag them away and they both looked ok (other than being certifiable psycho-whackjobs). I saw no police, nor did any show up.

So that made me miss Ireland and Italy a little bit. Didn't see many sword fights at the gelatterias. Before jetting off to Europe, my parents and grandmother came to Morocco and we toured around. It was wonderful, but as this blog is primarily for them, I won't go into details. But here are some pictures.


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.