If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
-Mother Teresa

September 9, 2007


The packing is done, tearful goodbyes were said, staging in Philly has gone by in a flash and tomorrow we're off to Morocco! After all the planning that I have put into this day, it is both exciting and overwhelming that I'm finally going to be "in-country" as a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer).

Today as things wrapped up we found out a little bit more about our training sites and how we will get there. There's a lot of travelling involved, but the good thing is that we seem to be a group of fun, creative people with a good sense of humor and that will certainly help all the trips to go smoothly. We will fly to Casablanca arriving Tuesday morning, and head directly up the coast to Rabat. In Rabat we will have a few days to (among other things) rest, introduce ourselves to the culture, and get our vaccinaions (there is little to no malaria in this country due to the dry climate, however it seems that rabies is an issue -- not something I had thought of).

Then those of us in the Small Business Development group will take an 8 hour bus ride "over the mountains and through the woods" to a town called Ouarzazat where we will be training for 11 weeks. My sister informed me that Ouarzazat (pronounced "waar-zah-zaht") is the Hollywood of Morocco. It holds one of the world's largest studios where such films as Laurence of Arabia and Babel were filmed. Perhaps I will become rich and famous after all!

Finally, we also found out that we will be learning on of the three main Berber dialects, which is really very exciting. I was momentarily saddened that I wouldn't be learning Arabic, but then I realized that this is a fantastic opportunity and that I really should trust that my assignment is the right one for me.

In closing, I would like you all to know that for my last meal in the states I ate spinach ravioli, caprese salad and some tiramisu for dessert -- it was delightful! And for the grand finale of American dining, we are hitting up a cereal bar tomorrow morning to say goodbye to the likes of Capt. Crunch and the Lucky Charms dude.

I'm off to get some rest now before the beginning of this amazing adventure...