Friday, June 12, 2009


Before I forget, Happy Birthday to cousins Tracy and Karen-and welcome to the 50’s!

Been a long week here in Marrakech. Great to see the rest of the “stag” that trained together, but the program content has been swiya. Our counterparts (that’s the person in the artisanal Coop/Assn/Neddi/Org we are assigned to for our primary project) were here on Tues/Wed. It was good to spend time w/them, and hopefully it was beneficial for them to be here. I was delighted to find out that Zahra, who came with me, approached the man who came from the Marrakech Ensemble Artisanat to try to get Adwal’s products in their showroom. Each major city has an Ensemble Artisanat where there are artisan workshops and a showroom. Prices are fixed (quite unlike the routine hard bargaining in the medina), more of the price goes directly to the artisan, and the quality is high. The guy agreed, and she’s going by to see him to negotiate the logistics of a trial period of 3 months with Adwal products. Go Zahra!

We had our 6 month language tests while we were here. I’ve improved in the ratings-no surprise, I’m not at the Advanced level, but happy being Intermediate Medium. I’ve still got my tutors and will continue to work on improving both my language and comprehension.

Marrakech has a distinctive look-like what you see as a stereotypical Moroccan postcard...that pinkish/orange paint on all buildings-same all over town, palm trees and even a kinda modernish architecture style. Hot. It’s much hotter here than my site-we are pretty far south. Typical of big cities, the taxi drivers try to rip you off every time you get in their taxi. Fortunately we know how to get them to turn on the magana (meter) or get out. I’ll have to post photos from last Saturday night when I arrived of the medina plaza-it’s pretty cool. I’m planning on getting to the mellah (old Jewish quarter) and a famous garden tomorrow before heading for the train home.
Fortunately the place we’re staying has a pool which we’ve used every day after sessions (since it’s been over 105 degrees) until we’re kicked out at 7pm when it closes. I think of nephew Philip every time I jump in.

The Director of PC Morocco has been w/us this week and got a call out of the blue from someone w/Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research. She’s working on a project to research epidimiology, awareness, treatment, etc. of breast cancer in Morocco. David passed the phone to me and I’m getting them in touch w/the MD and health mundub in Sefrou who were so helpful w/the cancer screening that we did. We’re all meeting in Casablanca week after next to hopefully work on this project. It goes to show that you never know where an idea may travel.

Gonna sign out and post this...not much to really talk about on this blog...more later.

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