Two weeks ago my lights went out. Or more specifically, I came home at dusk to discover that my electricity wasn’t working. Okay, nothing too unusual. My first instinct was to grab candles and the flashlight, but shortly after doing so I realized that the light in the alley way was working, and the light and hum of the tvs from my neighbors’ indicated that I may be alone in the dark.
It turns out that my electricity had been cut by the electric company—an unresolved issue with the 7-month unpaid bill left by the previous occupants. I knew this coming into the house and made it clear I wanted my own electric meter. I’d been waiting for the day the electric company wound collect this meter so that I could install my own. The day had arrived, sort of, and I was just about to leave for Fes the next day. After an attempt to resolve the issue the morning before leaving town I just gave up, moved some of my perishables to my neighbor’s fridge and headed to Fes for a meeting of the Small Business Development sector.
I felt the meeting was overall a productive one, mainly in just being able to compare notes with others facing similar situations. It is amazing how easy it is to get trapped on your own site bubble. We travel for hours or sometimes days to see each other it is like a little reunion whenever two or more of us gets together.
Fes proved itself to be a suitable host and I left with a canary in tow. Yes, I bought another bird, but this one was promised long ago when fellow CBT-mate Steven and I decided we would have to buy birds together. Steven bought a pair of ring-neck doves and I found a little yellow canary. We found them in a small shop along the narrow-winding streets of the old Fes medina (touted to be one of the largest living medieval cities, btw). The merchant quoted me an outrageously high price, and I got him down to a moderately-outrageous price. Considering where we made our purchases, I think the added character makes up for some of the price-difference.
Turning around from Fes I came back to my site for Spring Camp. My site is large enough to be the host of one of these camps. The school-kids are on their Spring Break for the week and they have the option of coming to these camps for fun and English-learning.
Originally, I thought I might have more time to myself to go about my usual routine to some degree in town. I quickly altered my expectations. I ended up co-teaching English in the morning with Emily (I think we made a great team) and in the afternoons Jon, Emily and I headed art club. In between all of this were other activities and games for the kids, as well as socializing with the other volunteers. I insisted on sleeping at my house, and that is just about all I did there, leaving at 8am and returning at 10pm each day. By the end of the week I was exhausted and I had gotten the best sleep out of anyone.
It was a great break from the usual, but now it is bad to work this week. I still need to solve my electricity problem and prepare myself for my first outside guests in a week and half!
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.