Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Follow through, Challenge, love and Cambodia.

This has been a fairly transformative year or so for me. 

At my birthday last year I decided that this year would be my year of follow through. I removed the word should from my vocabulary and instead followed through with the things I thought were important. Instead of saying I should eat healthier I challenged myself to eat healthier. Instead of saying I should exercise more often, I did it.  Instead of thinking ‘ I wish I was one of those people who ran and did yoga everyday’  I became that person. This year I worked on transforming myself into the the person I have always aspired to be. Then after all that follow through I decided this next year (2015-2016) would be my year of challenge. 

before I left Morocco in front of my house
in Cambodia with chips I ate in Morocco 
picking up our boss

 It’s been a long and a wonderful year and half or so. I didn’t do a response post to arriving in America after my Peace Corps service because it was hard. I didn’t really know what to write and on one hand I felt like my integration back to my home country was easy and fun but I had a rough and isolating winter last year. Luckily that ended and thawed into the best spring of my life. 
After a winter of buying way too many bra’s and working at a gas station I took a position at Nature’s Classroom in Connecticut. I have worked seasonally for all of my adult life ( barring my Peace Corps service) and this past spring was truly magical. I have never worked a season where so many people got along so well for so long. So much so that we still want to be around each other even a year later.
 You can call us Cultbrook but we prefer Soulbrook ;) I love my new Soulbrook family and they all made me a better person. I learned more about myself, I challenged myself, and I soaked in as much information as I could from their knowledge and expertise.
after a day of playing like children
Soulbrook on the stoop


As a community we challenged each other, supported each other and I know I’m better because of our time together. I didn’t know it but I had developed a  mistrust of men from my time Morocco- the nature of my co-workers helped me shake that off. I found my way back into my own country and learned what I valued, and what I loved about my home after being away for 2 years. I dove deep into the forest without shoes on , held wild snakes, did acrobatic tricks, sang everyday, slept in a hammock city, truly saw the wildflowers, stalked bobcats, played like a kid, learned the names of the trees and made America my home again. I  found my feet underneath me and I grew more confident. My new family helped me transform. 
the beginning of my headstand. 
          When the ground finally thawed my friends would kick off their shoes and scamper into the woods and as I watched them pick lines through the trees I decided that I wanted to be able to do that too. So I started running and eating better and exercising, I stopped making excuses and I made myself stronger. I spent months figuring out how to do a headstand. All in all in the past months I have found so much that’s important to me. I have a new love for myself , for nature and for my country. And then I left again. 

after months of effort- my headstand on top of mount lafayette in NH

Ha! Right now I am accepting a new challenge. Turns out I have never truly dated before and last fall while still at Nature’s Classroom I met this wonderful man Ox who wooed me but had already started planning this trip to Cambodia. When our time at Nature’s Classroom was over I still wanted to be with him so when he left at the beginning of this year I knew I would rather be with him in Cambodia then not be with him at all. It’s hard for me to leave the woods, and the mountains and the country I have fallen in love with again but I know it’s still there and I know this is where I belong right now. Cambodia and Ox are both incredibly wonderful. 
Moroccan Market
Cambodian Market
         Visually it reminds me a lot of Morocco- the store fronts, the traffic and the markets all echo Morocco’s aesthetic but that’s pretty much the end of the similarities.

Fruit in Morocco 

Fruit in Cambodia

 The food is so different and I love all of it- also I’ve started eating meat because even though it is a Buddhist country the majority of the food here relies on meat and I want to eat EVERYTHING. In my 2 weeks here I have not had a single meal that I haven’t liked if not loved- well besides the durian and the crickets I did not like the durian and I could take or leave the crickets- but everything else has been phenomenal. I feel much safer here then I ever felt in a Moroccan city, people smile a lot more at each other and I have had no street harassment besides a few kids asking for money at traffic lights and the tuk tuk (taxi) drivers asking me if I want a ride (because why would I want to walk anywhere ?!?! it’s hot out!). In the past two weeks I’m realizing I have some things still to resolve and process about my time in Morocco and how it made me feel. Being in Cambodia is helping me discover some of the things I learned during my time in Morocco because I obviously spent the last year learning to love my home and not exactly reflecting constantly on my Peace Corps service. Being in Cambodia makes me miss Morocco and I would be lying if I didn’t say I missed America a little- but mostly because I LOVE spring and I wish I could see the forest transform from a winters sleep into green and bloom. However I am so happy to be here and so grateful for all that I have experienced and everything leading up to this moment and all the new experiences to come. 
Ox and I in NYC before he left for Cambodia
Ox and I eating jellied coconut in Cambodia

Next week I’m going to be starting a TESOL course through a program called LC- Asia then get a teaching job here ( fingers crossed I will be getting a job teaching science). But in the meantime I am trying all sorts of new things, hanging out with some old Kingsley Pines friends- Kelsey and Brandon- and being with the lovely man that brought me to this country. I’m going to try and be more diligent then I was with my Peace Corps blogging, but we shall see what truly happens. I’ve been saying I was going to write this post for about 3 weeks now. This blog is a new challenge, and this is after all my year of challenge. 
Vietnamese Coffee with sweetened condensed milk

My first day in Cambodia
Trying Durian 

SE Asian Kingsley Pines Reunion! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


It has been several months now since I've returned to america and so far, more or less, it's been good.

Things are still shiny- I still get disproportionally excited about a big delicious cup of coffee or a 2 dollar taco or my beautiful new bra's and all they do for me.

Simultaneously a lot and very little has happened since my return. The holidays happened which were incredible and difficult. Incredible because I finally got to celebrate with family and friends and difficult because they had to live up to the expectations I have built up over 2 years in Morocco.

I got a part time job at a gas station and had to work christmas day, and as a child of school teachers I had no true way to deal with working on a holiday I had always had free my whole life.

I had to quit the part time gas station job because my body doesn't like standing still for 9 hours straight. It was sort of a disappointment. I kind of liked the work. I was busy most of the work day, I got to talk to lots of different people, the cash register was like a real-life Iphone game. I could see myself owning a little corner store like that some day (clearly with a different focus then 99 cent toquito's and frozen pizza's though). Often when I'm home I feel like I have no friends, because I have no social circle that remains here and I just sit at home feeling lonely – working at a place where more or less everyone has to stop meant that I got to see old teachers, classmates and got to make new friends. So on one hand while I continue to nurse my cranky upper back, I am grateful for my time there and I have a new found respect for people who work at places like that, standing all day on stupid mats that are supposed to help- by the way- every other country I've been to lets their tellers sit down.

Some things have been confusing me since being home. I'm not sure how I feel about wearing leggings and nothing over top of them especially in the winter time, though I've found some longer shirts that make me feel less exposed and I will probably jump on that bandwagon.
I am confused by commercials, though the more TV I watch the less ridiculous they seem. However, for the first 2 months commercials felt alien to me. The flashy BS that shows ridiculous juxtapositions between what we should want and how we should look and act confused me. Why do we need all this stuff? I will admit, though, that I watched some of the super bowl commercials the other day online- it's absurd how quickly these 30 second to 1 minute absurdities hawking cars and soda's and banks and a plethora of superfluous shenanigans become normal.

I don't know if this has been a natural progression for me or if I just expect more from my country after being in a country with so little infrastructure and work for its 'common man'; but one of the things that has been most upsetting and difficult for me to understand is what people are willing to do and not do for their jobs. I am having a lot of trouble understanding why a community of workers would accept not taking lunch breaks or smoke breaks or why we as a society accept how little some people are paid and how much they are expected to work. This year people had to choose between spending Thanksgiving with their families or making extra money and working at a box store so we consumers could get “good deals” a few hours earlier. WTF. I'm confused why there is so little opportunities for people to work and get paid enough to survive and why we still accept that sick people should have to go bankrupt to get the care they need. This is a whole other topic entirely but I'm also confused why people don't realize that big change takes time and is going to be messy (this is specifically in regards to the health care system that is being overhauled through the affordable care act).

America isn't so different from when I left it- sure the cracker aisle of the supermarket looks pretty different, there's more types of Arizona Iced tea but I think as a whole I feel like I'm back - capital “H”- Home. I love the Berkshires and the things the people of this community are working to achieve. I go to a monthly barter market, I've met young farmers and homesteaders, young professionals and motivated community builders, there's beautiful and welcoming public spaces and delicious restaurants with thoughtful menus, open mic nights and contra dances. It seems to me that at least here people are working towards things I value- community, sustainability, and building up local products and traditions. I love the Berkshires- to me it seems like the perfect middle ground between country and city- there's hiking, and lots of nature but there's still concert venues, an arts and entertainment industry and you can easily get to metropolitan area's by bus or train. I don't know if I'll ever truly be able to afford to live here full time- but we'll see.

I do miss Morocco a lot- I miss having my own house, I miss my town being a compact little thing that means I can walk everywhere. As much as I love having all the groceries I could want available to me all the time I miss my weekly souk and buying vegetables by the kilo and walking home with them in my hiking pack. I miss how connected I felt to people. I miss the freedom of interacting with people on my own time, instead of theirs. I miss my site mate, my stajmates, my Peace corps and moroccan friends, I miss the sunsets and the mountains and public transportation.

I do not miss doing laundry by hand, being cold inside during the winter and having to feel anxiety about how I dressed and how I interacted with men. I love the individual freedoms I have here and how I can express myself how I choose once again- I love talking about things like hetero normative values and environmental sustainability. I love the familiarity and history I have with people and old friends and how easy it is to talk to people. I love the value Americans give to independences and uniqueness and creativity. I'm totally adrift about what I want to do and how I want to fit in here long term- but I am really thankful to be home.

Here's some pictures of my last few months being home and how I feel about America:

Beer and Iphones- AMERICA! 

Goodnight Moon! America appreciates literature

individual freedoms- we have them. 

mom and I had a table at a craft fair- we sold very little, but it was fun to be in my elementary school and see local people I used to see often. 

New york city in the snow- pretty awesome. 

new years day hike with good friends. 

snow is my favorite. It is gorgeous here. I'm getting to go cross country skiing once again! 

live music? heck yes!! Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams less then 30 minutes from my house. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

my list post

so... things are definitely winding down here. I'm starting to say goodbye to people. I've had to start thinking of things as my 'last'. It's weird to consider that two years are almost over. next week I need to start packing my house over to my site mates and in 9 days I get on a bus to check out in rabat and then in 13 days I board a plane and head home. Holy Cow. This is obviously a highly complicated time so I thought I'd keep this post a little less rambly and a little more cut and dry. so here's that. enjoy!

Things I am going to miss about morocco
-       The kindness and generosity of strangers here
-       How people just give you things for free all the time
-       How little kids need to be entertained ( ie piece of carboard, rocks, candy wrappers) and how parents/adults don’t feel the constant need to be shoving entertainment in kids faces
-       How total strangers will often share food or cold water with you on a hot day or a long trip
-       Sleeping outside in my courtyard for most of the year
-       Going shopping at weekly souks
-       Fruits that are hard to come by stateside- fresh figs, fresh dates, excessive amounts of pomegranates, cactus fruit and fresh apricots (that come with the added bonus of being called mish mash)
-       How being a vegetarian finally pays off ( meat should be more expensive than produce people! )
-       The food- especially Cous cous, msimin/milwi (ie fried bread) and rfisa
-       Donuts and bread and all sorts of other random stuff available for next to nothing on the street
-       Having my own kitchen and having the time to cook and experiment
-       Having my own house
-       How people aren’t plugged in all the time
-    When interacting with teenagers especially girls - I like how in morocco body image and self esteem aren't the first issues that come up. It's really liberating 
-       Knowing people in town- ie my veggie guy, my cookie ladies, my taxi guy etc…
-       Having time to do excessive amounts of crafts
-       Doing yoga in my courtyard
-       The stars! And the meteors/shooting stars
-       Not being stressed about time or money generally speaking
-       Public transportation, cheap taxis and being able to walk places

Things I am not going to miss about morocco

-       F*%#ing flies
-       The water going out for many hours and/or days at a time
-       Sharing water bottles and water glasses with anyone and everyone
-       People coughing on me/ people not covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough
-       The way adults physical discipline children
-       Lack of trash/litter infrastructure and etiquette ie people just throwing trash everywhere.
-       People throwing up on public transport
-       People invading my personal space on public transport
-       Unwanted attention/harassment
-    Ryals- I hate doing math to go shopping- royals are not a real currency just use dirhams!
-       Not having all the produce I may want at any given time
-       Shitty internet
-       How people let their cell phones ring loudly and for a long time and also just pick it up whenever they choose for example when we are in the middle of a conversation, while they are driving a very crowded taxi etc etc… (but the Christmas ring tones are great, I personally have heard silent night, jingle bells, frosty and rudolph)
-       People taking craft projects out of my hands or bag to work on them…. I do not share my crafts well.
-       Having to “dance monkey dance” every time I need to do simple things such as shopping (ie bargaining ) or having to deal with my mumbling incomprehensible bank/post office guy for 30 minutes just to take out my money
-       Being constantly asked about my child and marital status.
-       Feeling anxious about what I wear every time I leave the house
-       Paying 1/3rd of my rent for a bottle of booze

 Things I am looking forward to Stateside
-       Trees!
-       Hiking trails
-       Getting to dress however I want and not feeling too weird about it
-       The accessibility and ease of things- ie no one giving a shit (no harassment)
-       Big cups of delicious coffee
-       Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, and Indian food- let’s be honest how much variety there is in food
-       Intentional vegetarian cuisine- not just a meal that’s been cooked without meat
-       Living in a more secular culture again
-       Better craft supplies ( I cannot wait until my first shopping trip to a yarn store- it’s going to get crazy!) 
-       Heating and hot showers
-       Simple meals and the novelty of cooking things from scratch instead of always having to cook things from scratch
-       No one paying me excessive unwanted attention
-       The familiarity

-       Family and Friends!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

hahah. oops. yeah. i haven't updated in forever.

As it has recently been brough to my attention it has been months since I last updated my blog. I believe this is because I have settled into the “norm” of my life in morocco, and as a result forget that you all aren’t over here with me and as a result have no idea what’s going on with my life.

In the past three months I have experienced another Ramadan (filled with breaking fast with my host family and friends here in site as well as making my own delicious smoothies and lots and lots of figs) . I also got to visit my host family in fez again, scored intermedieate mid on my Arabic language skills, crocheted like a mad woman , worked 2 separate camps, made a pretty basket bag, attended my close of service conference, and just generally hung out, finished the lord of the rings books, ate good food, cooked some new food and watched a few good movies and tv shows.

My service is winding down. At my count I only have 43 days left in morocco or something in that ballpark. I officially fly out of morocco on the morning of November 14th and I ‘ve already started assembling my baggage, and considering what will and wont try and get crammed into my bag to come back home with me, and what will stay to be hopefully enjoyed by another volunteer.

I want to do a list post in the near future about things that I love and will miss about morocco, as well as things I’m looking forward to when I return home. But this Is not that post. I want to put some thought into that one, and this post is mostly just to let you all know that I am still alive and update you a little bit about my life.

The summer was hot- 101 degrees in my house every day for 2 weeks hot. I put my travel clock/thermometer in the sun for 5 minutes and it jumped up to 112 degrees, so to say the least I was quite warm. I took lots of naps. I covered myself with wet sheets, and slept restlessly. Ramadan was an enjoyable time (despite the heat) and I was able to spend time both alone and with people in my community. After breaking fast one night with a friend I got accidentally moroccoed and ended up cleaning a friends house for several hours with a large group of women. I didn’t realize that was what I was going to be doing, and it was muggy work pushing water from the roof to the garage, but it was with some wonderful people and it was actually surprisingly fun, and I got cous cous after…. Anything can be made better with cous cous. (something I am seriously going to miss when I leave, and before you say it, the cous cous available in the states isn’t the same)
Ramadan was also my time of yoga (which because of travels and camps has fallen out of habit) I loved doing yoga everyday in my courtyard and even got to see some shooting stars while holding triangle. I am really excited to build on my practice, and I figure 5 weeks on of yoga, 5 weeks off (now more like 7 oops) and when I get back home I can go to yoga classes as well.

I also got to attend a friends wedding over here-  it was fun. Moroccan/Berber weddings are really interesting and filled with traditions and practices I still don't really understand, and no one seems to be able to explain fully. But I got to wear my jlaba’s got some henna done and did a lot of floor sitting. After 10 hours or so of sitting on the ground my body felt like it had been sent through the dryer with rocks in it, but it recovered , and as it was only my second , and probably , last wedding in morocco I still had a lot of fun.

It’s weird being so close to the end. I’m calling this my “shiny” period, and as my friend sarah has said, nostalgia is a powerful thing. This close to the end it’s easy to forget all the times I felt insignificant, useless, full of doubt and wondering what I was even doing here. I’m at a point where things that might have annoyed me 5 months ago are just morocco being morocco and I’m enjoying them for what they are (oh… you don’t know when the vacation is for your biggest holiday because you don’t actually know what day that holiday is yet that is 13  or so days away… oh… morocco… ha ha….. the time is changing, oh just kidding it’s not… daylight savings is totally arbitrary… oh morocco. Etc etc) so that’s kind of fun. It’s ridiculous that 2 years is almost over, and I guess I’m older and wiser but who knows if that’s actually true. Peace corps says that it is  "the hardest job you'll ever love" and I don’t know how I feel about that saying- but I will say that I have loved my time in morocco, and I’m going to miss it mightily. At this moment I’m not really ready to leave, but I am also ready to be home.
2 years feels simultaneously an eternity and a blink- but I think the timing is perfect. The sine wave that is the emotional roller coaster of this journey is definitely ending at the top of the hill, where I can look back fondly on the peaks and valleys of these last 27 some months.

Sorry for the radio silence, and enjoy some random pictures from the last few months! And look forward to another post in the nearer future.

making my basket bag at the girls craft camp

the view from the roof (ie my bedroom) at the leadership camp

a picture from last year, teaching the alphabet in my mumu

doing yoga with the girls at the craft camp

the 28 remaining pcvs at our cos conference, we are an attractive bunch

metal and mosque 

look at that view

i ended up singing with the band at a bar in rabat. i disappointed because I don't know any bob marley songs....  but it was still fun

Sunday, June 30, 2013

summer is upon us. for reals.

Summer is once again upon is and I find myself planted in front of my fan wearing as little clothing as possible, turning my computer off midday to keep it from overheating and I take long naps with a wet sheet covering me. It is notably hotter this summer then it was last summer, the hottest it ever got in my house last year was 97 degrees, and yesterday we banked in at 99- when it gets that hot, really all I have the energy to do is sleep. While I never took naps in college, or partook of the midday siesta’s at camp they have become wildly important  to my summer schedule here in morocco. Naps always made me feel lazy and like I’d wasted a huge part of my day, but culturally I’m in good company- most everyone else in my town sleeps through the hottest times of the day as well. If you want bread or milk at 2:30 pm you are shit out of luck my friend- everything is closed and most people are taking their typical afternoon snooze. The nice thing about taking a nap (for most of the) midday means that you can stay awake comfortably when the sun goes down, the breeze picks up and it becomes way more comfortable to be alive.

Nothing much new has happened here, classes are officially over at my youth center, we held a little “party” with the last 2 students standing on Friday which mostly involved us doing the coke or pepsi taste test, playing guitar eating cookies and then them showing off their kung fu and “parkour” skills.

I’ve decided that this will be my summer of betterment- which means I am actively (and happily) working out every day- I’ve been rotating between some biggest loser dvds  I bought before I left and some yoga videos. I love being back to a point where I crave my exercise and feel like my day is empty without it. I love building onto my yoga practice and it feels nice to feel strong in my body again. Morocco can be very lazy. While I do walk everywhere, it’s a lot of walking then sitting. Sitting then more sitting then some more walking. I’m pretty sure most of my muscles have atrophied past the point of health so its time to kick my own ass back into shape, and yoga is such a great way to do it. It is a little on the hot side, but I figure I paid 30 bucks to do bikram in America, and the temperature at my house is almost that hot, so might as well do some hot yoga for free!

I am currently in zagora to work a camp, that was very moroccoed in its architecture and setup. It was a surprise camp, no one knew it was happening until yesterday afternoon when me and another volunteer were frantically drafted to help. We showed up in zagora this morning, and made our way to the house of the volunteer where we are staying. Because she is traveling she left her key with her local store/hanut guy. When we showed up, he wasn’t there. So in a very Moroccan fashion we knocked on his door and confused his poor daughter into letting us keep our bags in their living room while we went to souk/the weekly market to pick up some food for the week. Mashi mushkil (no problem) the guy was back upon our return and apologized profusely, but really it was no big deal. (I realize how wonderful morocco is that it was no big deal that I just left my belongings in a strangers house then walked away for an hour or so to go buy veggies). Now we are settled in with the internet, waiting until it cools down so we can meet with our manager/boss guy. So, very un-American of me to be as calm as I am when less then 24 hours before this camp is meant to start I still have no idea when it is, where it is, what I’m doing, how many kids there will be, lets be honest I LITERALLY have next to no information. I think morocco is having a good influence on me.

As I was sitting waiting for the taxi today I have learned that while I still can be highly anxious and easily frustrated by many things I have gained so much patience. Before morocco I don’t know how relaxed or laid back I would have been about sitting on the curb just chilling with nothing to do until 6 more people decided to go the same direction as me. I definitely would not have been ok with my bag being in a stranger’s house and walking away from it and I would absolutely unequivocally not be ok with this work situation. I’m really thankful for the things morocco has given to me and I’m hoping that I will be able to carry some of it back to the states with me.

So that’s it for now I think, here’s some random pictures from the last few months.

on of my ladies threading beads for her bead crochet. 
me and my lovely site mate tiffany in traditional n'kob garg

one of my favorite things about bigger cities is that you can buy pre-cooked chick peas and fava beans. yum! 

apricots and plums!

a pretty door in my friends site

 you can kind of see under the right wing that there is a baby bat under there! they had gotten trapped in my big room one night and while they took me by surprise  i know they made their way back to their home in the rafters above my stairs. i also have baby birds living on my stairs- literally i have no idea where their nest is meant to be, and they are literally just cozied up into the corners of my stairs at night.  they're so young i can get right up to them and look at them from less then a foot away and they just stare back. 
reflections in the palmerie

carbohydrate fiesta! we had our closing day party at our women's center and everyone brought their own type of bread, personally i made banana bread with chocolate. 

i washed my bracelets in bleach, they needed it. 

danger guys and girls, we now have a full time donut guy in town. while they aren't the best donuts i've had in morocco they are now available to me all the time. luckily during the summer, i don't often walk down that way.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

long time no write

In my head this blog post is going to be witty and on point and interesting for everyone to read. In reality this will probably just be another rambly account of my pretty boring life.

Something I will talk about briefly is nesting- or at least my experience of it.

While meeting the group of new volunteers I have a tendency to say that " I like living in morocco, because I've never lived anywhere before" someone was confused and asked me what that meant- and what that means that as a touring or seasonal worker I, more often then not am living with the people I work with- sure Saint Mike's Playhouse is in Winooski, but with only a few days or afternoons off here and there I never really got to see Burlington or Winooski. At camp, I would never ever trade the idyllic little place I call home for 3 months each summer, but I am not living in Raymond or Portland, I am living at camp, a temporary community we create for ourselves. Even in college, we were a temporary and time-framed community of people, being a residential campus I never really left, and when I did, it was for my seasonal summer work or family vacations. On the other end of this crazy time framed lifestyle I did live and grow up in the same place, I still run into classmates in teachers whenever I go home, but it's not the same.

Morocco is the first time I have had my own house, my own kitchen, my own wardrobe (and not just a suitcase). I have my regular grocery store, and the regular place I buy my bread, I walk by places and I know their names, and they know mine. I feel like I'm part of the community, I go home at the end of a day, or trip to the store and get to sleep in my bed, I get to cook food in my kitchen. As much as I love travelling and moving around and my seasonal life style I have fallen in love with my nesting love affair with being somewhere. As a result of this I have not done a lot of travelling while I've been in morocco. first off it's a pain in the butt to get out of town and then an even bigger pain in the butt to get over the mountains, imagine every time you wanted to go on vacation you needed to spend 6 hours in a bus going over round up and down a bajillion mountains. So there's that. I've already told people that I know I'm going to regret no travelling more in my time here, because tickets to get back are expensive, but I guess as long as I already know that's how I'm going to feel, then it's ok. Also I'm totally dependent on my current dirham (not dollar) income, so no international trips for me, at least not until I leave.

Dont worry all of you out there who have this image of me just sitting in my house crocheting and going for walks around town for the next 6 months. I do have plans to travel, just nothing to crazy and nothing too far. My goal this summer (which might be a crazy however well intended one) is to try and visit people in my region- I say this is crazy because it's wicked hot here in the summer and travelling isn't fun and it's illogical to go even further south as the temperatures rise.  I'm hoping to hike mount toubkal (the tallest mountain in north africa) this month, as well as visit a friend, and then I have plans for the end of august, and then our close of service conference in september. I just need to figure out july, maybe I'll get myself to a beach, or create a beach in my courtyard. We shall see.

In other news a few weeks ago we had our regional meeting where I finally got to meet the other new volunteers in my region- the new culture/environment the new volunteers have created is much more positive and energetic then the one I came in on I think, so that's fun. We had a nice day in a pretty hotel doing model UN and talking about local activities and projects and then went to one of the movie studios, touting such films as Asterix and Obelix Anthony and Cleopatre (my favorite french comedy), jewel of the nile and some others- other things filmed in morocco were game of thrones (check out episode 7 or 8- that's my region and contains lots of berber symbols!) salmon fishing in the yemen, the then commandments, the mummy and tons more. It was cool to see the studio, though it was kind of falling apart.

The only other thing occupying my time has been crochet. My goal this summer is to make a blanket, and I'm a little bit around 1/3rd of the way there. It's been fun, and I love having a big project/goal.

so that's it for now- maybe I'll actually try and update more regularly. we shall see, so many empty promises.

game of thrones, possibly quarth?
just getting to know a statue

me in asterix and obelix! egypt or something
me and a bag that i made when i decided i didn't want to use it for my blanket

me and my yarn
the beginnings of my blanket

all of my squares are finished!!!! 

the circles and flowers
raised flowers

granny squares
flowers!!!! so cute.