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.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Weddings and Sitting Around

I went to my second wedding within a week- in Qenitra by Rabat. I felt as though I was crashing it as I knew nobody aside from the groom (and the groom usually shows up briefly a few hours into the festivities). Embarrassingly, I was also the most underdressed person in the room, as I was on my way back from a meeting about improving volunteer services for special needs youth in the capital. Most of the weddings I've been to have been outside, in tents, with all the men in jeans and tshirts coming and going as they liked. This one was in a venue by the river with chandeliers, a full band, a dozen servers, and a 3-man professional camera team, all of which run to a few thousand bucks for the night. I ducked out super early (midnight) in order to catch an all-night train across the country and get back to Krista, but I had time to see a little dancing before my departure. It turns out our local dance, the Reggada, in which you shake your shoulders back and forth, stamp your feet, and sometimes hold ornamental rifles, isn't done in Qenitra. The women there all danced with elbows at shoulder height and hands up and outspread. They would step with one foot, leaning forward, head and arms, shaking their hands, and then step back onto the other foot, leaning backward, head and arms, shaking their hands. The mens' dance appeared to simply be a sort of running-in-place with high knees. Good exercise but I didn't hit the dancefloor this time, as I didn't want to be sitting in sweat for the 10 hour ride home.

Following this trip, I've been doing more sitting in my site- hanging out with the directors, drawing tentative schedules for the beginning of Oct. start of classes, fiddling with grad school applications, and working on stuff for the special needs group. Not much to speak of, overall, except for Krista's continuing unbelievable cooking.

Yesterday, though, I did see something I hadn't before- a funeral. I was sitting at the cafe with the director of my youth center, talking about nothing, as per usual, and an ambulance drove by with a few extra people sitting in it. Everybody at the cafe stood up as the procession went past. A few pickup trucks followed the ambulance with lots of people crowded inside, and then a few cars as well. I had heard crazy stories about people paying professional wailers to mourn at funerals. Either these reports are false, or the procession is different.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Long periods of boredom interrupted by brief periods of extreme integration

It has been a while since I last wrote something on this page. There are a few reasons for that, but the biggest one is that nothing is happening. In August I did nothing, except for 10 days straight of full-time camp. Responsibilities included teaching English in the morning, making sure kids didn't drown, and keeping an eye on thieves at the beach. Krista and I did camp in El Jadida, which is just south of Casablanca. It was nice to be somewhere with a breeze off the ocean, and it was nice to work in a camp that had some sort of organization.

And there was only one kid who got hit hard by the camp director- Bonus! If there were any kids he should have been hitting it was his own. This guy's four year old sun decided to pee on the ground right in front of the door to our bungalow. But other than that, it was a good camp. Beforehand, the Ministry of Youth and Sports attempted to steal scholarship money for sending a couple of our town's girls to the camp, but they failed and the girls had a great time.

Most of the last week has been consumed by boredom/filling out graduate school applications. In a little preview of future tuition, I'm shelling out cash left and right just to email the places my papers.

And then my friend/former student/former Arabic tutor told us she's getting married. We went to the wedding last night. They cooked 70+ chickens, and blasted local music all night. We were literally the first to leave, at 5 in the morning, just as the first call to prayer of the day sounded.

Here are some wedding pictures- keep in mind that no alcohol was involved.
the bride

the woman on the right was featured in a previous post- "an old berber Henna" - sweet lady

1:30, time to start the party

krista and the mother of the bride dancing

white batmen

lets have the bride sit in this little bowl and then carry her around

...and shine bright lights in her face so the video turns out well

3:00 am

photos of the couple

outfits #2


4:00- things are really getting started. fairly consistent gender separation

traditional music matched with lazerlightshow

outfit #3

enough already - 4:45 am. I left, it probably went until 7. then moved to another town to continue


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.