I made it out to Azrou on Thursday after stopping in Ifrane to meet up with Amy and Bouchra and introduce them to Jess. Hopefully they are able to work with one another on the many ideas that came up in these brief meetings.
Side note while I think of it-trek slama to Achmed, Jess’ neighbor/Sefrou angel, who is going to have a much-deserved mini vacation courtesy of all those whose lives he’s touched. Tbarkalik Achmed.
I participated in a couple sessions with the SBD trainees in Azrou-back in the old Auberge de Lion de Atlas. Wow-just 2 years ago that was me, sitting in those same sessions, waiting to hear where I was going to spend the next 2 years of my life. Flashback.
Following the session on Friday afternoon I made my way up to Fes. This was really my last opportunity to see my Fes friends to say goodbye and thanks for all they’ve done. Fortunately I was able to catch up w/virtually everyone, so I left in the early afternoon on Saturday to get back home.
I did stop by and see Michele (and Khadija), which was nice since she couldn’t make it to the dinner a couple weekends ago. She’s in month 9 of her pregnancy and not supposed to travel. Yosef is on the road right now, hoping to get back before the baby comes. Interesting factoid, if you are born in Morocco, your name must come from a list of approved (Muslim) names. Michele really wants to name their baby Rose. I think she’s going to use Rose as a middle name and also use it in the Australian birth certificate/documents.
Everyone is asking how I’m feeling about leaving-sorry to leave, mixed feelings, etc.? Honestly, I just feel ready. When you start this thing, you know the exact date that it will end. That significantly colors your perception. Things you don’t like, you know you only have to live with for 2 years. Things you love, you get your head around the fact that you’ll be saying goodbye to it/them in 2 years. My 2 years are up and it's time to move on. This is making the goodbyes easier. At least in the last 2 days. We'll see as the week progresses….
Unfortunately today dawned overcast and windy and only got worse. The worst storm we’ve seen this fall-steady rain and heavy wind. Not such a big deal, but today is when the new PCVs arrived in town (my replacements) for their 5 day site visit. It’s tough to travel in inclement weather anywhere, but especially when you’ve got to lug all your stuff yourself through multiple transportation sites, trying to figure out where you’re going, walking thru muddy lots, etc.
I was down at the Coop when they arrived, so Nora (she’ll be their host sister) and I walked up to meet them in front of the patisserie. Doug and Karen (the couple replacing me) travelled with Jo who will be in a site near REK called Dar El Hamra. It’s a new site that Casey developed with a very motivated group of women already working together. Anyway, we all trekked up to Nora’s house and sat down to a lovely lunch that her mother had prepared. When Casey called around 3pm that he’d arrived from Sefrou, Jo and I took off to meet him, leaving Doug and Karen to get situated with their new host family.
Figuring I was already completely soaked, I went ahead and did my shopping. Fortunately my vegetable guy was still open and my favorite hanut guy had turkey breasts, so I don’t have to go to souk tomorrow (and it’s gonna be an ugly, muddy mess there tomorrow). I’ve invited all the PCVs around here (that’s 4 of them plus me) to come for dinner and help welcome Doug, Karen and Jo to the region. I’ve got tortillas just out of the freezer-bought them last Christmas and been in the freezer ever since-so we’ll be doing some Mexican food tomorrow night.
Got news from Zahra that the Cooperative showroom party has to be postponed. Some of the Ministry folk who were going to be coming will still be in Agadir. Nuts. I so wanted to be there to help them celebrate. Hopefully Doug and Karen will be able to attend.
I’ve got my last box of stuff packed to ship home. Think I’ll try to get it out tomorrow if the rain lets up. Then it’s just a matter of starting to give stuff away and clear out my place. I’ll check the bus schedule tomorrow (it’s Monday=souk day and that changes all transportation schedules) to see what time/where the Rabat bus leaves on Mondays and will likely be on that one next week. I don’t actually have to go to Rabat until Tuesday next week, but once I’ve emptied my apartment on Sunday, no reason to stay around. Goodbyes will already be done. Nshufkum mnbad Inshallah.