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

March 24, 2008

The Last Half...First

Happy Spring!

So as many of you know I've been struggling for three weeks now to post anything to my blog. I was finally (mostly) successful today; I was able to post the second half of the pictures I had intended to post. So in backwards fashion, I will post the first half next week.

Also, I was trying to post two videos I had made for your viewing pleasure; also something I will have to post next week.

So until then, here is the second half of the pictures I have to share from the last month in Morocco.

I hope you are all doing well!




A stop sign in Arabic that's in my town. I don't know why someone wrote "fat" on it...

At the end of the day as we packed up to leave, the girls began to sing and dance. It was amazing! This is yet another item that was on the video I wanted to post.


This is the room I said goodbye to on March 16. It was a bittersweet day, but it went very smoothly considering all the hurdles I had to jump to make it happen at all.

Another view of the room I left in my host family's house.

A group of the girls came to help move my things across town on moving day. We were very lucky that about 50 yards from the house a tractor crossed our paths and ended up hauling all my things the mile or so to the new place.

This will soon be my new cat (a.k.a. scorpion killer... I'm hoping)! Soooo cute! I'm thinking of naming it either Jordan or Patsy; any other suggestions?


So these are some pictures of my new house! (more to come)

This is the courtyard around which all the rooms of the house are located. I call this picture "Excavation"; this is the dirt I swept out of the courtyard. I found a marble and a 10 Ryal piece (which equals something akin to a penny) underneath. Sweeeeet!

This is the view of the courtyard as you enter the house. To the left the bedroom, to the right the kitchen and behind that the storage room, and against the back wall the entrance to the salon. All the doors are metal - very typical Moroccan door. I think they're lovely; but they sure are heavy to manage sometimes!

Because I don't have a constant supply of water, I have to store it in the containers you see in this picture. Since I took this I actually purchased a much bigger container with a faucet; I can't tell you how exciting that purchase was!

You'll also notice in the corner and underneath the kettle two butane tanks. This is the fuel most Moroccan (at least rural) families use to cook, and also to heat water for tea, etc. On the video I had a fantastic demonstration.

My broom broke halfway through the "excavation" of the courtyard.

This is the salon. In the picture you can see the ponjs I bought, which is the bench seating that all Moroccan households have. It may fascinate some of you to know that the rooms in houses are actually measured so that these benches fit perfectly. I bought some lovely blue and gold fabric to cover them, and I'm hoping Aunt Patsy will fly over at the end of the month to help me sew it on.

This is my bedroom and a mattress that my very sweet neighbor/landlady donated to me. I do have my own bed, but I thought it was so nice of her to even think of it. Everyone has been so helpful with this house!

That's my second front door, and the outside of the bathroom/hamam on the right. The way a hamam works is that you light a fire (with your trash) on the outside and it heats a water container on the inside. It makes the bathroom (bit l'ma) all steamy like a sauna, and that's how you bathe. I can't wait to use it next winter when it's super cold! Perhaps I will spend the whole winter in there.

Against that side wall of the garden is a giant pile of cinderblock (sp?) that has come in handy for seating, as well as (jackpot!) a huge pile of tiles. I will be tiling a walkway, and perhaps the courtyard. It doesn't usually rain, but when it does the house turns into a mud pit.

In the lower right part of this photo there is little faucet sticking out from the wall; that is where I get all of my water. It's on every day from 10 am to 10:30 am. Or is that every other day? Or wait, is that every other day, except on Tuesdays it comes on at 3 pm? I'm hoping some day I figure out the very complicated water schedule...


So the women that I'm working with make beautiful shoes that are very particular to the region (most of my fellow PCVs had never seen them when I wore them to swearing-in). This is what the leather looks like after it is embroidered and before it is mounted on to the sole of the shoe. Right now the girls are simply embroidering for other shoe makers, but they have all the equipment and know-how to do the whole thing themselves. We are working now on establishing a co-operative so that they can officially do so. Wish us luck!

This is a detail of the embroidery work that my girls (and many women of this region) are well known for. My "western" sense of color was at first challenged by these combinations, but I really think it's so lovely how much it works as a finished product.

...I think these are the shoes they're making for Paul and Katie. [I really crack myself up]

Per Erin's request (and because it really was such a beautiful day), here is the view from my courtyard on Easter morning.