Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's Official

With Ambassador Riley and Mrs. Riley in Fez. That's my bodygaurd on the right!

View from host family's roof

I know it's been a while so I thought I would write a quick update. I am now officially a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV). I was sworn-in on November 25 in Fez by US Ambassador Thomas Riley and Peace Corps Country Director Bruce Cohen. Training is over and now the fun begins. I am now in my final site, a small village of about 3000 people. It's in the south of Morocco located between Ouarzazate and Errachidia. My amenities are limited, no running water, but the location is absolutely beautiful. I'm surrounded by desert land filled with palm trees and am nestled between two mountain ranges. I'm also very close to the Todra gorge. There are no paved roads in my community and all the houses are made out of mud, sort of adobe style. It still gets very cold down here but it's not so bad during the day when the sun is shining. Right now, my priorities are to hire a tutor to teach me Tamazight/Teshlahit (Berber dialects spoken in my region) and to find a house. I'm finding both tasks to be very difficult. I have found a few teachers in the area that speak a little English but because they are from bigger cities such as Casablanca and Rabat, they don't speak Berber. Finding a Berber speaker that also speaks English will be a challege. I'm currently living with a host family until the end of January. After then, I will be able to have my own place. The problem with that is I live in a very small community where all family members live under the same roof. Housing is very limited. It's quite unheard of for someone to live on their own, especially a female living on her own. I'm still in the process of explaining the whole thing. In shalla (god willing) I will find a tutor and a house. I love a challenge.