Friday, August 28, 2009


Laundry by hand. As I sit on my stool on the roof in the sun, rinsing out and hanging my laundry, I recall that I NEVER bought anything in the states that was labeled "hand wash only". And I SSSSSOOO get linen in these parts. If you have to wear anything (and given this conservative state, clothing is not optional), linen is just the thing for the heat. Doesn’t cling, it's light, loose, breathable. Trouble is, I haven’t bought an iron. How do you say “shabby chic” in Darija? And then there’s the underwear and political correctness. How come you rarely see anyone else’s underwear hanging out in the sun to dry? I know (gulp-assume) they all wear---and change daily---underwear. But how come mine are the only undies in the sun? Is it hshuma to hang it in public? If so, why doesn’t my neighbor say anything when she’s on the roof doing laundry with me? Do I ask? No. Not THAT worried.

Food. Big subject these days w/Ramadan (note that we’re at a ½ new moon, that means ¼ the way thru the month of fasting). Are you fasting? No. Why not? I’m not Muslim. Oh. Go to friends to spend the afternoon and l-ftr (break of fast). All afternoon they’re either talking about food, cooking for l-ftr or watching tv w/food ads every few minutes. Kinda like days of dieting and reading cookbooks. Why is it that we're obsessed with food when we "can't" have it? Of course, during the heat of the summer and Ramadan, thirst is a bigger issue. My heart goes out to the guys I see out my window working on the roof of the building one block over-out in the sun, pounding nails, no food or water. You can also see the toll it takes on the faces of people as they are walking around. More are not feeling well. Headaches. Disheveled. Body odor and bad breath are rampant-no fluids to flush the system.

Language. Got a new plan in place w/tutor Khalid. I need more structure-we agree on what I need to work on-comprehension when others are speaking and pronunciation. We’ve put together a plan for better “lessons” to focus on these elements. We both feel better w/this plan-I was getting frustrated and he didn’t feel he was helping me.

Pressure. Ok, I’m talking water pressure. During Ramadan. 1st choice? 7pm. That’s sundown and Everybody in REK (except non-Muslims-oh, I think that’s just me), I mean Everybody is at l-ftr, eating and drinking for the first time since dawn. Best water pressure for me to shower and do laundry. 2nd choice? Noon on Friday. Almost all men and many women at mosque.

FedEx. Who knew? We can ship from Fes. Hamdullah. After getting on their International Shipping from Morocco website, talking w/people, visiting w/the office in Rabat many months ago, calling to confirm documents we need to ship product to the US, I finally find out that we can ship from Fes. No big deal. Hamdullah, but would have been nice to have had someone tell me that the website info (addresses/phone #’s/etc.) was all out of date. Anyway, YIPEE-Zahra and I go to Fes in the morning to ship out the 1st 10 table runners to WaresDinner (need to give them a plug-check out their website and buy the Moroccan package that they’ll soon have online-also check out the photos on their blog for Morocco-they’re from my Coop). The women are working hard thru Ramadan (many others either don’t or aren’t “allowed” to work thru Ramadan) to get the next 10 going. They look great.

I’m coming out of my summer slump. Got plans in place-I know that’s just the tonic I need. Going to stay in Fes for the weekend, have meetings I set up in Fes and Casablance on Monday, Tuesday in Rabat in PC office, Wednesday invited to sit on panel for trainers of next SBD training group to give them “insight” on language learning for the 50+ group, Thursday more meetings in Rabat I’ve set up, back to Fes for more follow up on the Craft Fair, home on Friday. I know this is what I need to do to improve my attitude, and it’s worked.

Craft Fair. MarcheMaroc2009 is in full planning mode. Met w/Al Akhawayn professor on Monday and she’s taking charge of the Workshops for Friday Oct 2. Jonathan and Joy are in charge of working with her, and the plans are in progress. Cortney sent me the flyer/ad mockups and they look great, so when Jess returns from Spain, will be starting the marketing campaign. Steven and Anna and I will Skype on Tuesday to talk thru Artisan Management. We’ve selected the 30 organizations that will be invited, and Steven and Anna will be taking charge of this part. Kristen in working on locating tshirts and will talk w/Olga about getting her coop to screen print the MarcheMaroc2009 logo on them-for volunteers and for sale. Maggie has volunteered to help w/the demonstrations during the Craft Fair. Mike and I are coordinating on site logistics (anyone know where we can get our hands on 10 more exhibit tents for free?). Things are moving along nicely. Give me another Hamdullah.

Then there’s the American School Craft Fair and the French School Craft Fair and the potential for a US Embassy Commissary Craft Fair, all in Rabat. I’m working on getting contacts for the American School Fair, as it is in November, and too tight for me to take it on.

So now I’m off to the busta (post office). Then I’ll be attempting the new ATM in the new bank in town. Just opened up our first bank. Inshallah I have access to my PC account funds right here in Ribat El Kheir. Will let you know. ***Just back, flush w/flus (money)-it works! Yipee!

And now if only I could get my internet connection to work. Maybe Maroc Telecom is trying to tell me that it’s Ramadan, I should be fasting and not working, so it’s sabotaging my work efforts.


1 comment:

NoBama said...

To my knowledge, Moroccans of the country side of Morocco forego underpants and "hang loose" under their robes. Obviously, this increases their ability to dissipate heat.

I'm Moroccan