Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Azrou-PST (Pre-Service Training) cont'd

Since we still have wireless access, you’re getting more updates than will likely be possible down the road. We’re still here in Azrou at the hostel, getting deeper into language and technical training.

Typical day:
7am Workout on roof w/others using Pilates DVD ..another group doing yoga…doing some laundry
8am Shower, dress, breakfast (coffee or tea, bread w/butter and honey)
9am Language training w/LCF (Language and Culture Facilitator) in groups of 6. Learning common words and phrases to help us get around town
1030am Break
11am Technical session-medical, culture, business tools
1230pm Lunch (big meal-salad, soup, vegetables, either meat or casserole, fruit)
130pm More language and/or technical sessions
330pm Break
5pm Tea Talk-optional (but valuable, so everyone goes) discussion of Moroccan cultural topics we’d like to know more about. Subjects to date: Turkish toilet, women’s hygiene, Moroccan music, making mint tea, bargaining
615pm First Ramadan curfew (be off streets before sundown)
645pm Break Fast (traditional Harira soup that Moroccan’s eat when they break their daily Ramadan fast, along w/vegetables, maybe some meat, bread)
8-10pm Time to go out to town (20 min walk to Medina for shopping) if not studying
10pm Dinner for those who are observing Ramadan

We’ll be getting our CBT (Community Based Training) sites assigned either Friday or Saturday. That’s when we learn which language we’ll be taught and who is in our CBT group (4-5 volunteers in each group, with their LCF). We’ll be leaving for our CBT sites on Sunday. They're all in rural sites, with just our small groups, and each of us will be living w/a host family. This will be both challenging-we don’t know the language-as well as a tremendous learning experience. This is where we’ll put language training into action all day every day, and apply the technical tools to that village.

Here’s the schedule for training:
9/21-10/5 CBT Phase 1
10/6-10/10 Azrou
10/11-10/29 CBT Phase 2
10/30-31 Azrou-find out our final sites
11/1-11/8 Site Visit-first time to final village!
Election result w/our host families-talk about an interesting introduction!
11/9-11/16 Azrou
11/20 Swearing in

Apparently all but 2or 3 of the final sites already have SBD volunteers who will be finishing up their 2 years in November. The site visit will give us an opportunity to meet them and learn about what they’ve done and any recommendations that they have for projects.

We’re interviewing w/the Program Manager to give our preferences on language, type of village, what we can and can’t live without, etc. Some of this will no doubt impact how they match us up in our CBT groups. My guess is that they have a very good idea of where they’ll send each of us for final sites, and will tweak that plan based on how we do/their observations of us during training. I hesitate to state any preferences. I may like the creature comforts, but would expressing this influence their decision to place me where I’d serve best? I think I’ll leave it to their best judgement.

Tonight’s a night off from a lot of studying-trying the every other night routine-and the YD’ers (Youth Development volunteers-also in Azrou, but at a different site) are coming over for a game night. Bye!

1 comment:

Karen K said...

So intense! I bet the cultural topics are some of the most valuable. I remember in your other post you mentioned that it seemed rude to wake people on the plane to eat until you realized that they needed to eat before sunrise. Gosh, so much to learn...

Will you feel sad to leave some of your fellow trainees? Are you bonding, or is it better not to--since you will receive different assignments?

Hope you post more photos when you have the opportunity--maybe even some of you?!!! :o)