Monday, April 26, 2010


Made the mistake of checking out the website for our post-COS (Close of Service) cruise. We become RPCVs on Nov 12th in Rabat. Then I’ll have 2 weeks-current plan is to travel around Spain and Portugal w/Kristen and Joy-before boarding the 2 week transatlantic cruise in Barcelona. Check out the ports of call: Barcelona Spain, Toulon France, Ajaccia Corsica, Mallorca Spain, Cartagena Spain, Las Palmas Grand Canary, Tenerife Canary Islands, San Juan Puerto Rico. Then flight to LAX on December 12th to begin the re-entry to life in the US again.

Now I’m salivating about the shore excursions-need to do more reading up, as of course, one could spend more on them than the entire (cheap) cruise. That and I wouldn’t want to do them solo, so it would take convincing some of the other 20 or so PCVs who will also be on the cruise to join me. We’ll see.

So what’s wrong with me? I just got back, finally, and am dreaming of more travel. That’s just the way I’m wired-always need those carrots out in front, and they’re usually travel related. Got a bad case of spring fever.

Meantime, I’ve had a chance to catch up on emails, getting a ton of work done for Marche Maroc Rabat, which is coming up in a week and a half. Tons to do, and wouldn’t you know it, the power and rizzo was down all day yesterday. Nevertheless, PCV committee members came thru when needed.

We’ve got a full line-up of artisans and their hotel booked. We’ve got the PCVs’ hotel booked and a task grid for sign ups out. We’ve confirmed arrangements for the Ambassador to hand out the certificates. All publicity-posters, flyers, programs are either being sent, printed or finalized-once again Emily came thru like a champ. Security lists compiled, banners getting set up at the American Club, notice in the Embassy calendar, workshop set up, certificates completed. Whew. Emails have been flying, but I think we’re in great shape, thanks to the hard work of many hands. Thanks again to all who contributed to the Peace Corps Partnership Program grant to help fund this-see the poster for acknowledgement. Photos to be posted after the event.

Now I’m on to other things, like making up new, improved product labels for Adwal. Kate from down by Marrakech put together a really terrific template she said I could use, so have been working on that today. I’ve finally reconciled myself to the fact that the Adwal women are just not going to pay to print shit. I can fight it, get frustrated, whatever, but their actions speak volumes, so I need to just buck up and work within those constraints-and get them something they can actually use and replicate. Geez, this sustainability schtick can be a drag (hah!). After many painful reformatting attempts, I finally have it all lined up to print and copy as intended. Hopefully the women like them, or I’m back to square one!

Meanwhile, the builders continue to move forward on the new showroom space. Hamdullah I got a call from Fatima asking about the tile and paint colors from Jared’s work, so they’re using that info. The builders have also started the trenches for the foundation of the natural dye workspace behind the workroom. Fatima and Zahra indicated they were planning on doing this, but didn’t know it was actually funded. According to Fatiha, this will also include renovation of the bit l-ma (hashek) and kitchen space, both of which are badly needed. Tbarkaliha Taeawniya Adwal!

I’ll be interested in finding out how they (Zahra and Fatima) did at the Ministry-sponsored Craft Fair in Fes this past weekend. After all my travel, I didn’t make it up there to see their exhibit. They’ve incorporated some of the product development ideas from our last workshop, ie; smaller items, better finishing on their products and straight sewing, and have made some really nice new bags/purses. Hopefully the sales were successful.

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