OK, so I’ve been stringing out the celebration. Packages received before my b-day (03/09) were saved and opened that day. Didn’t really do anything else on the day of my birthday (mesqina). Made up for it with b-day cake, candles (gave the birthday poppers and noisemakers to PCVs to use w/kids here-thanks for the party stuff Debbie) and “PCV sangria” when friends visited last week. Just went by the busta and had 4 more packages- cute outfit/book and CHEDDAR CHEESE from Sandy (yes, cheese travels quite nicely thank you very much, and is not something you can buy here), sweet notepaper from Cindy, and a zween assortment from Ginger, including a “Tiny Tornado II, Personal, Battery Operated, Hand Held Fan”. Does it say something about my age when the battery-operated personal accessory I get excited about is a fan to keep me cool? Mesqina. Thanks to all!
Had an informative discussion w/Fatima and Zahra this morning at the Coop. This is after I had dreamt that I had an argument w/Fatima about them not wanting to pursue the new business opportunities I was bringing them, so what did they want me to do? I remembered the entire dream-including the argument in Arabic.
I know this was based on my disappointment in their response to all the work that Jared did for them last week. Even tho’ I know they just don’t have an appreciation for what he did in the approx. 12 hours he spent on Photoshop, they were pretty nonplussed and didn’t even offer tea. I was a bit embarrassed for them. My dream also incorporated how I’m feeling about these potential orders and the length of time it’s taking the women to respond-as if they don’t really want the business. So it felt kinda funny going down to have this planned discussion and waiting to see their reaction.
There are 4 new order inquiries (2 from the new website) and I reviewed each of them, some of which I need to respond to with additional photos and prices. Ferida and I went to the busta to weigh the zrbya they already have so we could estimate the postage fees for the larger zrbya order from a Moroccan in Tiznit. (Fatima told me that the scale at the busta was broken, that’s why she hadn’t weighed it in the week I was gone. BssHaH?). Anyway, we’ll keep moving on these, and Inshallah-oops, hopefully Ellen sees fit to get us the orders.
Then I needed to see if they were planning on going to the Marche Maroc Rabat in May. Fortunately they plan on attending this Craft Fair. I just got notice from Peace Corps Rabat that they’ve submitted my PCPP grant request, so I’ll let you know when it’s posted for funding. (PCPP is a Peace Corps Partnership Program grant that gets posted to the official Peace Corps website for funding by friends and family in the States).
I also needed to ask Fatima honestly if she thought there was anyone, ie; another Association, in REK that would want to pursue the Women in Technology opportunity. She acknowledged that she didn’t think that there were people willing to foot the bill for 2 women to even go to Azrou to get trained to be trainers. I’m very disappointed, as this is an extremely valuable opportunity, but only if they want to pursue it. I cannot push it on anyone. They need to own it. I need to let Widad know so she can approach another rural town. Bummer.
I’ve also discovered that the Adwal email is full and bouncing back messages. Yes, Fatima says she opens them and reads the ones she can (French/Arabic), but has not been deleting any. Meanwhile Ferida and Nora continue with their computer classes (thanks again to Alia Kate and Kantara Crafts), but won’t be done for another 1 ½ months. Then I’ll be sitting down with them to show them how to stay on top of emails, update the website, respond to product inquiries, etc. If Ellen wills it.