Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mbruk Leid

So when I was complaining about the extreme heat a week and a half ago, I apparently failed to be specific enough. Now I’m freezing. OK, so that’s an exaggeration, but this is my third day in a row wearing my fleece. It’s in the 70’s during the day and high 50’s at night. For the last week. The week prior it was over 100. Feels like winter. Maybe this is Morocco fall. When I was wishing for it to cool down, I forgot to ask for more temperate weather-maybe a sunny 80 would be nice. Not ready for this rain and cloudy weather. We’ll get enough of it when winter really comes. OK, enough about the weather!

So we continue to make good progress on the MarcheMaroc2009 program…..

Met w/Bouchra at Al Akhawayn University on Monday and the workshops are in final development and Jonathan and Joy are taking charge here. She’s also going to try to bring students to help w/translation for the Tam and Tash dialect speaking artisans. Inshallah that works out.

Spoke w/Masoudi-the guy I’m bringing in from Casablanca to do the product quality consultations. He’s working with a couple of German design students and wants to bring them along, and they’d do the follow up reports to each of the artisans. (Concept here is we’re paying them to give one-on-one product quality consultations to each of the artisans, to help them understand what they need to do with product development to address the needs and wants of both the domestic and export market customers). He’s also proposed that they might try to find funding for follow up work with the artisans, ie; after they have their consultations, what changes have they actually put in place, etc. I gave him my budget and hopefully they can work it out for all of them to come to Fes within that budget.

In addition, the American Language Center is going to use the MarcheMaroc2009 Craft Fair as a centerpiece for their Culture Program for all their students the month of October. I’m also helping them acquire a couple of speakers on the Artisanal history, products, Coops, etc. of Morocco. Masoudi will hopefully be one of those speakers.

Jess has all the posters and flyers distributed across Fes. Got feedback that it might not be clear that it’s a Craft Fair from the text-a case of us being too close to it. So Jess is going back to add a quick note to ensure that people know it’s a Craft Fair. The flyers look terrific-attached a copy in photos on blog.

Updated the mundub (Artisanat delegate) yesterday on all my activities and he’s very happy w/them. Good thing! Anyway, he’s gonna send me a list of people here in REK that he wants me to work with, ie; put together business workshops for them. Fine. I’ll have the time, once the Craft Fair is over, and would be nice to reach out to other business people in REK.

Got a request from the MEPI(Middle East-US Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness) to identify women in rural areas who are well positioned to take up this initiative in their communities. I’m moving this request over to the GAD (Gender and Development) Committee, as the timeline coincides with the Craft Fair and I need someone else to coordinate this. It’s a great opportunity for PCVs to both help bring breast cancer awareness resources to their communities as well as provide terrific training to key women within those communities-training on leadership, how to conduct workshops, how to do market research, etc. Don’t want to pass up the opportunity ‘cuz of my timing.

Leid Sgira is this weekend. It’s the 2 day celebration of the end of Ramadan. It usually involves killing a sheep, and tons of sweet mint tea and cookies. I’ve been invited over to several homes to celebrate, so will likely stop in at least a couple of them.

Before that, going to Sefrou and Tafagheit Fri/Sat/Sun. Have some business in Sefrou, then Jess and I’ll go up to Marian’s site in Tafagheit-up in the mountains and real bled. Will be great to see the site, as this is where Sarah was posted before Marian, and I’ve heard a lot about it.

Mbruk Leid

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