I am starting to settle in to my new home. The language is exhausting and at times very frustrating, but I'm getting a little more comfortable being part of the family.
An amazing discovery happened the night of a fellow volunteer's Birthday. We were all invited over to her host families home for a surprise party. I did not have the vocabulary to communicate effectively with my host parents that I wasn't sure when I would be home and who would walk me home. After unsuccessfully trying to convey this to my host mother in darija, she gives a look to her husband who suddenly starts speaking English. English had not be previously spoken in the house, which I'm sure was deliberate. Apparently, this event warranted a breech of the no-english rule. Well, it worked, but I'm leaving English to emergencies only.
The rest of my days consists of intense language-lessons and meeting with the local artisan co-op. We have exercises we are going through with them so we are better prepared for our final assignment. I am aware how busy they are, on top of their fasting, so their patience and generosity of time with us is greatly appreciated. They make rugs and fabric on looms by hand. Small, simply-designed rugs can take about 2 months for one woman to complete, and larger, more intricate rugs can take up to 6 months!
I am getting my exercise walking up and down the long staircases to get to the center of town and back to the LCF (language and culture facilitator) house. Well, the rain has stopped for the moment (it has been a rainy week off and on) so I will be heading home. My home is in the center of the photograph at the very top of the hill (I have an amazing view of the town and mountains).
I am currently serving in Peace Corps, Morocco, as a small business developer working with artisans since September 2008. I have a Master of Fine Art, in studio art from Washington University in St. Louis.