Friday, March 12, 2010

A Full Heart

I feel like I need to capture these feeling while they're fresh. While I realize that someone else may see my words, this really is my personal journal, to reflect back on this experience I'm so fortunate to have.

How many times has the phrase “my heart is full” come to mind? I can’t even count. How incredible it is to be able to say that. What a wonderful place I’ve got to live in for these 2 years, that fills my heart so often.
I really love these women that I have the opportunity to work with every day. They give, they work, they’re silly, they play, they argue, they include me. How did I get so lucky?

So, yes, the Minister came today. It was a very big deal-everyone was working from about 8am, and he showed up around 12:30, stayed at most 1 hour, and then the work of tearing everything down began.

It was one big photo op. The tent was put up, and the products of Taeawniya Adwal and the new Taeawniya Asalah were put on display. Story boards were put up to update the Minister on Ministry-funded projects. The obligatory photo of the King went up. Everything else came to a halt until the Minister arrived from Sefrou.

The men were lined up to shake the minister’s hand as each was introduced. As is customary, the women were in the line behind the men, one female Assn president was introduced, but none of the other women. The Minister went thru the storyboards and products, then came into the Coop workroom to see the Adwal women at work. I had a chance to speak with him briefly about my Peace Corps work. Back to the tent for tea and he was off to the next stop. With all due respect, this was not the hightlight of the day.

Instead, watching and helping the women of the Coops working together, in the steady rain, to get everything put together was great. Then it was the comraderie while awaiting his arrival that was so special. There was such a sense of community-the REK villagers there to support the Adwal women, the women themselves, I wasjust one of the women, joking around, sitting together talking, etc. I’m never going to be able to adequately describe how remarkable these women are, how normal, how different and at the same time how similar they are, how inviting, how industrious, how gracious, how loving. I’ll never do them complete justice. I don’t know what it was about today that made it special, but my heart is so full.

So afterward, we all trekked back into the village for couscous (it is Friday after all). Finally I know where the Couscous Association is. And that’s what is underneath the cyber stairs! I never had the guts to poke my head into their space-wasn’t certain if it was “public” space or someone’s house. Turns out it’s where they make the couscous and they’ll cook it up for you as well. Nice to know. Interesting to note that some of the Coop women turned their noses up at the couscous-making faces, saying their mother makes better couscous-and right in front of the Assn women. Oh well. I liked it.

So now it’s all about finger crossing for sunshine tomorrow. I realize that weather gets a lot of blog space, but given the last 2 weeks of steady rain and cold wind, it’s hard to ignore. That and the fact that you can never escape it. You go inside and you’re still cold, unless someone has a furno (small wood burning stove) or sufaj (space heater) and you’re sitting right in front of it. Otherwise, you’re always cold. And with rain, you’re always wet, since you don’t get in a dry car and back it out of a driveway-instead you walk everywhere. It does wear on you.

Meanwhile I’m still waiting on the tlaja technician. My refrigerator motor isn’t working. Since I got home on Monday. Have cleared out the food that could spoil. Fortunately the milk and eggs here don’t require refrigeration, so there’s now little to be spoiled. However, I still don’t have a timeframe when it will be fixed. I go by the hanut where I purchased it every day. Every day he says the guy is coming, maybe in the morning from Fes. Inshallah. Right.

But neither that nor the weather can dampen my spirits-the Adwal women lift me up.

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