Monday, March 26, 2012

Moving Out.

It's official, I have moved out of Anezi. My host family came early morning on Saturday and collected all of my things and as difficult as it was, I had to say good bye for one last time. 

A few days at Hannah's, now a day in Agadir and then off to Rabat. This crazy journey is coming to an end.

All of my stuff in the alley way outside of my house.

My host mother and host sister outside of my house.

I really was sad to say goodbye to my host mother.

All of my stuff, going back to Ait Erkha.

Friday, March 23, 2012


My entire existence in Morocco fits into one green suitcase.

Terrifyied. Sad. Anxious. Excited. Nervous. Emotional.


Leaving Anezi tomorrow, saying goodbye to everyone I know and love here. Morocco has been good to me. Anezi has been good to me. Ait Erkha has been really good to me. I am sad to see it all go so soon.

Five Things to Take/ Five Things to Leave

My dear friend Jancy suggested making a list like this might be a good way to hash out some of the insanity that is currently occupying my brain. Here is what I came up with.

To Take:
1. Patience, empathy and my newfound cultural appreciation
2. My new healthy livestyle and eating habits
3. Frugality and living simply
4. Time for self-reflection
5. Appreciation for even the smallest successes

To Leave:
1. Not fun and difficult to pronounce Tashlheet/ Arabic words
2. The constant and relenting dirt and dust that coats everything
3. Looking like a local and not showering
4. Loneliness and boredom
5. All the negative feelings I have about Moroccan men and harassment


Twenty-six months ago I rid myself of my keys. I sold my car to my parents, returned my house key and was suddenly keyless. It was liberating.

Now, 750 days later, I am keyless again. My landlord came by, collected all of my keys and with it, my responsibilities.

For the next few weeks I relish in the freedom that exists from being keyless. I no longer have to worry about loosing them. I no longer have the responsibility attached to them. Freedom.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Useful things I learned in the Peace Corps

1. How to light a lighter
2. How to bathe in a bucket
3. How to use a squatty potty
4. How to entertain myself for hours on end, with just my thoughts
5. How to block everyone/everything around you out when walking/ riding a bus
6. How to sleep through the call to prayer blasting over the loud speaker
7. How to wash my clothes in a sink with only shampoo
8. How to pack for weeks on end in a small backpack
9. How important the internet/ phone reception is to my mental sanity
10. How to buy everything you need to live in weekly increments
11. How to communicate with little to no language at all
12. How to wear many layers of clothes in the African heat
13. How to sit in the back of a cab with three other people
14. How to travel for hours on end, patiently
15. How to eat seasonally and appreciate not having to
16. How important trips to a real grocery store are
17. How to survive the worst stomach parasites imaginable
18. How to comfortably sleep on the floor, any floor
19. How to correctly apply bug spray to prevent getting eaten alive at night
20. How to be patient
21. How to be empathetic and understanding to cultures completely opposite of my own
22. How important being able to communicate daily/ weekly with family and friends is
23. How gratifying communicating in a new language is
24. How the smallest gestures can mean the most to someone
25. How much better familiar food can make you feel
26. What new clothes can do for your self esteem
27. How much value lies in your own familiar culture
28. How hard it is to adapt to a new culture
29. How terrible and contagious negative group moral is
30. How important persistence and diligence is in getting work done
31. How to self-motivate
32. How much I love reading and studying
33. How to not get dehydrated in the desert
34. How to not fear bugs
35. How much work kids will do for candy
36. How women all over the world just want a venue to get together and chat
37. How to earn the respect of people who have a lot of pre-conceived notions about you already
38. How to live simply, with little possessions
39. How to value the few things I have
40. The value of new and different things/ ideas
41. How much better American music is than Tashlheet music
42. How important insulation is in keeping us happy
43. How angry being cold makes me
44. How important daily showering is for my mental sanity
45. How hard multi-tasking is in multiple languages
46. How much easier it is to visit people when you can sleep in your own bed at the end of the night
47. How to live and travel with basically no money
48. How to cook from the most basic ingredients imaginable
49. How much fun traveling is
50. How to take time to focus on that sense of self and how much better that feels