Monday, March 1, 2010

Capitalism, Morocco Style

Promises to be a big week around the Cooperative. Sefrou Delegate coming tomorrow. Women from Dar el Hamra who want to start a Coop also coming by. Thursday Amina comes in from Sefrou to do a natural dye workshop. Friday the Minister from the Ministry of Artisana comes in town. Tbarkalikum Adwal.

Meanwhile, found out that Meriem was mixed up on the cheese workshop dates, so all is well, Hamdullah. Then I found out that there may be a couple of (non-insurmountable) hiccups in the Rabat Craft Fair planning, so a bit more money to be scrounged up. Spent Saturday photographing a Children’s Program at the Belladya in honor of Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday Holiday.

Then it was off to Fes to work with Jess on the final details for next weekend’s International Women’s Day Festival. She’s got a really great 3-day program lined up-really looking forward to that. It will be a celebration of Women of Morocco: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Saturday will be readings and writing contest from Moroccan women of the past. Saturday night will be a Diva Dinner down in the bowels of the medina. Then Sunday promises to be terrific with a full program of dance, music and singing at the new ALIF riad in the Medina. Monday will be lectures at Fes University. We will also launch the Women4Morocco website that I’ve developed.

Stopped in Sefrou on my way back from Fes to do a bit of business. Frustrated once again by the mustached guy at Maron Telecom. See, I’ve been informed by 2 other PCVs that Maroc Telecom is automatically increasing bandwidth, but mine hasn’t changed. So I went by to see what was up. Same guy (always have to deal w/him) tells me that I can sign up for increased bandwidth at an increased price. Ask him why is it that 2 other friends have double the speed at the same price? He looks at me like I’m crazy. Cr*p. I’m getting nowhere. Pack my stuff up and leave. Maroc Telecom. Bah Humbug-what do they know about customer service. Grrrrr. I then come to my senses. No, they’re actually behaving like capitalists. See, the other 2 guys are in larger towns, ie; where there’s competition. In little old Ribat El Kheir, if you want internet, it’s Maroc Telecom or Maroc Telecom. No competition, no options, they’re not worried about my loyalty-it’s them or nothing. Grrrrrrr. Caught in the capitalism conundrum. Tfoo.

Oh well, I catch the transit back to REK-Meriem is on it and we get to catch up. Home early enough to get some exercise-long walk to the bomba (gas stn on way out of town)-to get a photo I’ve wanted-view of the town on the horizon w/the snow-covered mountain in the background. Nice.

Now if only I could get my ever-so-wonderful-Maroc-Telecom connection to let me into Skype, I’d be happy!

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