Monday, September 7, 2009

Lik Jumla d Allah, Li Bgiti

We’re into week 3 of Ramadan, and you get used to the routine-hard to anticipate when people will be around, when shops will open, and if they'll open, everything and everyone moving slowly. Find myself doing the unintended fast-not eating or drinking out of respect for those fasting-and this could be as long as 10 hrs w/travelling. Of course, they’re going much longer without, but I’ve got no motivation to participate (other than respecting their choice). Fights breaking out for no real reason on the transit. Thirst is the worst. Can’t imagine next year when Ramadan is the entire month of (HOT) August. After a long day of travel, I can down 2liters of water in a little over 1 hr. How do they make up the daily dehydration? Oh well, I’ll be out of site for the next week, but will be back for Leid Sgira-the celebration of the end of Ramadan-when the new moon is spotted.

Got some sweet news from the PC office. They’re looking for a host family for a new Youth Development PCV to be posted here in Ribat El Kheir (after he finishes training in November). I’ve been lobbying for this to happen, as I think it’s a great PCV town-very welcoming and accepting, and there are tons of good kids w/nothing to do-no after school or weekend activities. Besides, it’ll be great to have another PCV so close by.

And then there’s the application for the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Amina from Sefrou attended (and received financial assistance from the Market) and apparently did very well with sales. Now the Adwal women are even more interested in attending. As I’ve said before, I want to support them in their efforts, but want to help them make good decisions. I’ve got a couple of key concerns. First, can the women produce enough product between now and July to make a profit (esp. since they’re only ¼ done with the WaresDinner order and will be working on it thru December)? And are they aware of the costs (above receiving financial assistance from the Market) associated w/attending the Market? So. I wrote to the Market manager to get some more info. Got some good info from him, and have shared all of this with Zahra and Fatima. I also put my “2 cents” in w/a recommendation: that they focus on producing as much as they can for the next 1 ½ years and apply for the 2011 Market. I’ll be back in the states by that time and could help them “on the ground” during that Market. Note: you can’t apply now for the following year-already asked that question. However, I’ve also helped them fill out the applications-because of course it’s all in English-and have told them I’ll help them do whatever they decide to do. Ball’s in their court.

Fatima and I have started back w/English classes. I think she’s newly motivated w/the prospect of going to the US for the Market. Whatever the reason, she’s motivated, and that makes for a good situation. Inshallah she sticks w/it. Also helps that she knows some French, so not starting from scratch.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m glad we had a little rain last night and this afternoon-first since early May. It also means that it’s cooled off a bit. We still get over 100 degree days, but we’re getting a few more in the 80-90’s, which is such a relief.

And then there's the Busta Santa (the older guy at the Post Office who waves me out of line to have me sign for packages-bless his parents). Haven't been to the busta in a couple of weeks. Hey-no junk mail filling up my PO Box-jealous, yak? Anyway, a shout out to Jo, Ginger and Liz. 3 Packages! Hamdullah! Now I know I've said time and time again that I have MORE than I need here-much more. But not all that I want-or even desire. Simple things. Rang true when I get Jelly Bellies and magazines and a solar shower! Who knew how much I missed the simple pleasure of flipping through a magazine? Do I need it? Of course not. But bless their parents too!

So if you haven't figured it out yet, God Bless your parents is a very common "God phrase" here. There are MANY God phrases-several for every occasion. I'm a bad girl. I've not memorized them all. I have my standard ones-seem to work for me. Jokingly had my tutor check my translation "Lik jumla d Allah, li bgiti". Roughly means "God phrase to you-pick one you like". Mostly use it w/other PCVs (don't want to offend), and have found others using it as well. Hah!

Well, I now have to break down the tp/papertowel holders, boxes and milk cartons I’ve been collecting to take with me this week. Two workshops-cheesemaking at Lisa’s in Khemmisset and papermaking at the Lindberg’s in Oulmes. Should be interesting and fun. Trek slama.

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