Monday, June 7, 2010
So I thought I would write a final blog post for my Morocco blog. I have been home now for almost a month, after a week and a half in Egypt. It is hard to believe I left Morocco so long ago. Sometimes I have pangs of sadness, missing the people, the beauty, the life, the smells, the food...everything, but at the same time, I am thrilled to be home. I am enjoying every moment with my mom and dad, my sister, my soon to be brother-in-law, my friends, my favorite city in the world...Chi-town!
Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to learn a little about a culture so different from our own over the past two years, and thank you for all the support for the women's center! I am blessed to have so many supportive people in my life!
One of the last pictures I took in Morocco, on the drive from my site to Tiznit.
Posted by Erin at 7:22 PM
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Here are some pictures from the neddi opening! We had a great time, and leaving my site was incredibly difficult. While I am currently in Rabat running around like a chicken with my head cut off (what a horrible idiom....) trying to accomplish many tasks in my last few days here, I promise a good run of nice long descriptive updates upon my departure from Morocco.
Me and my girls! These three girls were with me through the good times, the bad times, the scary times, the ugly times, the funny times...all the times! They all came to the women's center opening because they are amazing.
After a long, fancy lunch of tagine, fruit, tea, and cookies, we were asked to take a picture with the local important people. Turns out there were a lot of us, and yet everyone insisted on making one line. The gendarmes (local police), the Caid (local government official), the commune president, the association president, the Ministry of Health representative, the doctor, the nurse, my association president....everyone was there!
Some of the local kids were charged with the ribbo cutting and led a ceremony. They did a great job, and knowing that the center is complete felt amazing.
We all insisted that the local association president should cut the ribbon. He is a wonderful influence on the town.
All of the village women and girls shower up. This tent was packed with over 60 women! The event was clearly for them.
The schoolteacher prepared a few skits with the students in honor of Earth Day and the Women's Center. They were adorable and pleasant to watch.
Their Earth Day skit.
The men sat in the other tent. My Peace Corps boss stayed with the men and handled everything very well. Can you spot the American???
The women's center!!!!!
The two tents, set up in the schoolyard.
My host dad and another local man. I just love this picture because they look so regal.
Much to my surprise, I was presented with some lovely gifts. The community members all chipped in to give me a set of local clothes and local jewelry. They are absolutely beautiful.
My boss received Berber shoes!
The women's center girls all chipped in for a pair of shoes, which meant so much to me.
After all the festivities, the women and girls did their traditional song and dance, called "ahwash."
For the first time in over two years, I participated in "ahwash" with the girls. It was a TON of fun!!
Sorry for the delay on the updates!
Posted by Erin at 12:52 PM
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Oh, and Health Room equipment is being delivered on Monday, and the opening party is on Thursday!
Posted by Erin at 9:10 AM
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Ok, so it is Tuesday, yes. And I missed last Wednesday, yes. But give me a break, I only have a month and a half left in Morocco and there is a lot to do.
I have often been in Tiznit over the past few weeks, organizing and planning the 2nd Annual AIDS Skit Competition in Tiznit. We had a great event last year, and the students involved learned a lot. This year we are hoping to have six different groups participating. It should be a fun event. I'm spending this week working with the group of students from my site, helping them to prepare their skit. The event is on Sunday.
I also received 125 pieces of artwork from eight different countries in the mail last week. This is the second half of the art exchange program my middle school participated in. In my classes this week, the students are learning about the countries where the artwork originated. Next week each student will receive a piece of artwork from another student somewhere in the world!
In Women's Center news, my association president and I handed over another 30% of the total project cost to our contractor yesterday. While construction has been delayed due to chronic bath weather, we are hoping to see the center completed sometime within the next three weeks. At that point we will hold the official opening, just in time for my departure from Morocco!
We are still getting paperwork in order for the delivery of supplies to the literacy and handicraft rooms. While the sewing machines won't arrive before the summer, we are hoping to have the literacy room equipped for the opening. Keep your fingers crossed! Fortunately, we are working with the Ministry of Social Development on this, and their representative in Tiznit is wonderful and easy to work with.
The Ministry of Health has equipment ready to deliver upon the completion of construction. While I won't be around to witness health lessons, vaccination drives, sewing seminars, and literacy classes taking place in the center, I look forward to being in contact with both the girls of my community, and the volunteer who is replacing me in May. And of course, coming back to visit Morocco!
The front entrance to the center. This is on the main road passing through my village.
While not a picture of the center, when Maggie came to visit last week, we went on a hike in my site and found this lovely stream! 4 months ago there was no water, and definitely no green!
Posted by Erin at 10:51 AM
Thursday, March 4, 2010
On February 20, 18 volunteers, 2 Peace Corps staff members, 1 wife, and 1 baby participated in a 5km to help raise money for disaster relief through Partners in Health in Haiti.
We had a great time. I don't have all of the pictures from the event, but I will post more if I can get a hold of them!
Posted by Erin at 4:03 AM