Friday, February 27, 2009

Fine Line

We all walk a fine line in our daily travels, and the paths of Morocco are no different….

While I savor the warm spring like sunshine, I feel a bit guilty, as Morocco has gone thru 2 years of serious drought. On the other hand, the volume of rain this year has been very destructive in different parts of the country. So I try not to think of that as I delight in the green carpets of crops starting to spring up and the incredible wild flowers growing in clumps of white (could they be wild narcissus?) or rugs of bright orange or yellow, or the white blossoms of the almond trees and the pink of the cherry trees. I forgot how nice the seasons are, and how beautiful spring is. Oh no-just got a message from a friend to expect snow on Tuesday. Forget what I said about spring-forgot we’re still in winter. Tfoo (sh**). Another fine line? Can’t drive here-Peace Corps rules. That allows me the opportunity to look out the windows to see the countryside and all its beauty, its diversity, how the people of Morocco really live.

Speaking of travel, in Morocco it will test your patience daily. Bring a good book, as you’ll have to wait for your transit to fill up, whether it’s a nuckl or grand taxi. (btw-nuckl….comes from the Arabic verb to transport-nql). So it’s interesting to realize that I’m being treated no different than any other traveler on Tuesday as I try to get home from Sefrou. Unfortunately so are a lot of others, and there aren’t many nuckls running. They’re full before I can get on. Wait 1 ½ hrs. Finally take one to El Menzel, then wait for another to REK. A 1 ¼ hr trip takes 3 ½ hrs. The“foreigner” gets no special treatment-wanna see how the natives live? Well here you go!

Gotta navigate that fine line when it comes to women’s role in Morocco. Metalan (for example)-want to support my translator’s effort to separate herself and her children from her abusive husband. Don’t know what resources are available for her, want to help her find work, but right now all I can do is be a supporter-frustrating. Then there’s the meeting(s) for women here in REK. I got great support from the Health Delegate in Sefrou-he loves the idea of bringing Women’s Health education to REK, and will provide a car and medicines for 2 female MDs to come out next month. Great! I’d also love to support a discussion on the Moudawana-the 2004 Moroccan Family Law-that spelled out and updated women’s rights in Morocco. It’s a fine line between making certain women know their rights and not appearing to arm women w/tools to revolt against their husbands. There is a rumor (heard it here in REK) that the Moudwana was repealed, and women have nowhere to get correct information. If it’s not on TV, they only hear by word of mouth, and we all know how the game “telephone” works.

Side note-got into a discussion about the Moudwana and difference in women’s rights between Morocco and US this morning w/my tutor. Realized I was having this discussion in Arabic (with language pit stops as I learn new words). Feels good to have a real discussion on a real topic of interest in Arabic!

Well, hearing the wind whip around outside, I hope the snow doesn’t come until Tuesday, but gotta shut the windows now-been nice to air out the apt all day.Nate and Sarah probably staying here tonight-they’re really great, then off to Fes on Sunday to meet up w/ 3 other PCVs-great breaks-getting to know Fes pretty well-at least the medina and Ville Nouvelle.

Treq slama.

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