Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wizard of Wizarat

OK, so I’m taking a bit of language license. The Minister of the Ministry of Tourism and Traditional Handicrafts (Mudir d Wizarat d SiyaHa u Sine3a Tqlidya) is coming to town. Apparently he’s making a tour of the region-Sefrou in the morning, lunch with us, on to Azrou, Ain Leuh, etc. It’s a big deal. A VERY big deal. The Coop building has been whitewashed, trees trimmed, weavings hung, posters of the Cooperatives in the area put together, etc. Now it’s sprucing up the Coop workroom and dress in our finest to greet him. All the Coop women are sporting their new Adwal logo pins (gift brought back to them from US after Christmas).

Good week in town-glad to have some time here to get some things done. Metalan, spoke w/Meriem to finalize the plans for the Cheesemaking Workshop. There will be 10 trainees, 5 from REK and 5 from Zaouiat. Lisa is set to come in the day before so we can ensure that everyithing in is place. My friend Gale from Fes wants to come down for it, as she runs a business called FezFoods, and may be a buyer for the cheese if it’s economically feasible.

I also had a chance to speak w/M’Hamed and another guy from the Jam3ia f zlul (that’s the rural commune in the valley below town) about Women In Technology. Since the new women’s association isn’t up to taking this on, I’ve been pitching it to other groups here in town, as it is an incredible opportunity that I don’t want REK to pass up. On the other hand, they need to own it, so can’t push it on them either. Inshallah they’ll take on the project.

Khalid (tutor) and I have finished the Darija translation editing of all 16 Business Workshops I’ve created. I’ve been doing the translations myself and using our sessions to correct my grammar and jargon that doesn’t translate well. Metalan, “putting the moose on the table” doesn’t exactly translate directly into Arabic…know what I mean? I’ve got all the Workshops posted to a Yahoo Groups server for the Small Business (SBD) Volunteers to access. Now I just need to keep working my way thru implementing the rest of them with the Adwal women.

Great news from friends Pamela and Jenna (of Heifer volunteer days)-they’re coming to visit right after Lindsay goes home in mid-April. They’ve made several Heifer trips, so are accustomed to being “in the bled”, Hamdullah.

I’m also looking forward to Jared’s visit next week. He’s one of the SBD PCVs way down south in Morocco. He’s got a software program, and the know-how to really use it-to demo different design options for building interiors. He’s coming up to help the women of Adwal brainstorm and decide how they want to design the interior of the new showroom that is being built. Great opportunity to tap into his talent, and glad to give him a chance to get up to this part of Morocco.

Now if only the sun would shine and spring would come back….and stay around....

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