Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Pronounced mshgggrul, aka: busy. Lot’s going on. Let’s see-I’ll start w/follow up to last week’s Cancer Screening Day....

I was concerned that the women were told to go to Sefrou to get the results of their exams. Not practical, and figured I'd go see Dr. Faisal at the sbitar here in REK when I got back from Fes, to convince him to get the results sent here. No worries. Fatima and Zahra are already on it. They went to Sefrou last Friday on their own initiative to get copies of the results and bring them back here. Mind you, they are the Pres and VP of the Coop I dragged into this. Hamdulah.

We meet w/Dr. Faisal yesterday and he reviews all the reports. Finds 6 w/evidence of cancer. Finds 10 who need to go to Fes for further testing. The rest are clean. He gives the reports to Fatima to give them to the women. Huh? Any MD in the US would scream for HIPPA and patient confidentiality. Not here. These women don’t have contact info-no mailbox, no phone. How to get the results out to them? Same way they were told to come to the screening. Use word of mouth to get the women to come and get their reports from Fatima. Miriam (lawyer friend) and I convince Fatima to tell the 16 women w/issues to take their reports and talk to Dr. Faisal. Fatima should not be put in the position of telling the women they have an issue with their results. Interesting process, yak? So this morning (Tues), sure enough, there’s a steady stream of women coming by the Coop workshop to get their results. Fatima is all organized to give them their reports. In addition, she and Zahra have made these really nice thank you certificates for the MDs and women who volunteered their time last week. Nice touch. Again, this is from women who I dragged into this whole thing-going above and beyond. That’s why I feel fortunate to be working with them.

I brought in the Logo banner for the Coop-they liked it-need to hang it up in the workshop.

I was also surprised to see my friend Aicha come by the Coop. Seems she’s been let go from her job in the computer lab at the Dar Chebab. Doesn’t understand why she was let go, and now Fatima’s (Coop Fatima) sister is working there. Note that Fatima is member of the Assn that is over the computer lab. Hmmmm. Nevertheless, Aicha wants to work, so has come by the Coop to talk to Fatima (same one) about learning to weave-and Fatima talks her into it! (So let’s see-Aicha let go by Fatima’s Assn so her own sister can work there, but convinces the former employee to come and be trained by Coop-and Coop makes money by training apprentices. Smells fishy, but who am I to judge?).

I’m at least glad for 2 reasons-I’ll get to see Aicha daily at the Coop, and since she isn’t working right now, I’ve invited her to participate in the Women’s Wellness Workshop this weekend in Sefrou. (I wanted to invite her to participate all along, but didn’t as I knew she worked). The workshop will include yoga, nutrition and cooking classes, stress programs, women’s health discussions, art, etc. The women invited from our towns (about 30 total) will stay w/host families Thursday thru Sunday, all for free. The intent is for the participants to then take what they learn back to their communities and share it with women there. Aicha is coming. Hamdullah.

I’m particularly glad that Aicha can come, as her job loss is not the only disappointing news she’s received lately. She and the man who teaches the computer classes at the Dar Chebab have been dating (as much as you can in this culture). They want to marry. Her mom supports them, but her dad says “no”-the guy doesn’t make enough money. End of story. Wow. Breaks my heart.

Meanwhile, my work continues on Coop marketing-brochure, business card and interviewing each of the members to have profiles for the Regional website when it goes "live" thru the Artisana in Sefrou. I'm also getting info together for my meeting in Mukilteo w/the women with the ecommerce opportunity when I go to the states in 2 weeks.

Signing off now to get back to these projects....

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