It has been a while since you all heard from me. It’s just ‘cause we don’t get to the internet café too often and we really don’t pull out the computer that often. In honor of my friend and cousin-in-law Ben, who is starting his residency, because he enjoys a good list way more than the average person, here is my first list. My first list is, of course, a list of firsts.
Since being in Morocco and moving to our permanent site I have:
- become neighbors with my first 107 camels and another 122 after the first batch disappeared by way of front end loader and large truck due to their being sick. Unfortunately none of this fine camel meat could be eaten, but instead was taken out to the desert and buried. This was a fantastic shame for all our townspeople who would have loved a succulent chunk of camel. I hear it is truly delicious, very little fat, a little watery but that’s to be expected, okay, just kidding about it being watery. I, in fact, had a plan to take a picture and include it in this post but as you can see there is no picture. There may be very few pictures coming since taking a picture involves unlocking the suitcase, unpacking some of our other locked valuables and digging out the camera, taking the pictures as inconspicuously as possible so as not to appear like the tourists who continue to propagate the notion that all white people are tourists, and as tourists we carry around ginormous backpacks full of pens which we indelibly want to, or possibly even need to hand out to any and all children whom ask. In our village there are only a few children who consistently ask for them despite the fact that most children here appear to go to school and would potentially use a new pen.
It appears my list is not so much of a list as a dull report in list form. Nonetheless I shall carry on. I have additionally:
- witnessed my first fainting. Well not so much witnessed the person fainting as seen the aftermath that ensued. Unfortunately the person was Jana, but thankfully there was no harm done except maybe to her self-esteem since it was our first day of visiting the sbitar, the local clinic, where we will be going regularly for the next few months. As she was leaving the office we were in she collapsed and a nice lady sitting in the waiting room evidently tried to catch her but all I really saw was the lady toppling over Jana and then scurrying to get up so as not to be improper. Then, of course, because I had never seen Jana faint, I freaked out a bit. All was okay and we returned to observing the nurse hard at work.
- become a volunteer in the peace corps. Yeah, there was sitting in air conditioning, swimming, and overall a feeling of excitement, exhaustion, and something that felt like quiet confidence because really unless there was something I couldn’t control I knew we would make it at least that far.
- used the door of my room to improve or rather obtain one bar of rizo (aka reception) on my cell phone. Of course this does us very little good if someone calls because if we take it off the door, we lose our bar but we do get some text messages via the special door rizo process however.
There have been other firsts for us but these are the ones that stick out for us at this time.
As we have become more familiar with Tata the town, we have made a few friends around town. Just today I met a butcher who had hosted a previous volunteer during her home stay and welcomed us to his village any time. There are still the few odd folks who like to think we’re French tourist but we usually just say hello and keep walking. We’ve been walking around trying to find out what kinds of things are offered. For example, cheese is available but Oreos are not. However, as we have been perusing the shelves one thing we have noticed is the huge selection of colognes they have. Maybe some info first. For any big occasion and sometimes for visitors it is tradition to have massive bottles of cologne that you use to douse all attendees. Sometimes if we are lucky they have two and do both at the same time, or at the very least, come around a second time to make sure the late comers get the special spray also. So carrying on, some of the flavors we have noticed are your traditional Hugo Boss’s and your less familiar Carlos Moya’s, who to my best guess is a Spanish tennis player who thinks he smells pretty good. But as you explore the deep recesses, you see some slightly less familiar brands. A couple of our favorites include One Man Show and Jet Ski For Women. When you are about to head out on the town there is nothing you want more than to have the subtle tang of jet ski fumes engulfing you, am I right ladies? As of today we remain vigilant in our search for Jet Ski For Men because I don’t think we guys should be left out when it comes to smellin’ like a jet ski. Well here is the deal. If you have seen any others that are comparable, or if you have some ideas of your own that you think would be good competition for the likes of these, go ahead and put em’ up on the blog for all to enjoy, alright?
One last thing. I was dancin’ around on Chelsea’s blog mainly because I hadn’t seen any pictures of the little bundle of new Rustad (Norah) and saw that Olivia and I share a little something. Well not so much share something, as are opposites with regard to shadows. While she was discovering shadows and actually going out of her way to avoid them, I was finding that shadows are an excellent way to keep cool when it is really, really hot. As Jana can attest, every day we walk past a building at about 9 am and every time I say, “Ah, the best 5 seconds of my day.” Well, that’s about all. Almost 2 whole pages from me. Too much I know. Oh yeah, too bad, USA aren’t as good as they thought in soccer, out of the World Cup in the first round, but yeah Ghana, on to the second round on the first try.
Note from Jana: I have NO IDEA why I fainted…how embarrassing… :) I think it was a combination of a warm room, long sleeves, and the tension/nervousness of our first day working with our new counterpart (the nurse) and meeting a lot of community members. Crazy. Luckily, so far, it has been an isolated incident!