What I did after Eid.

November 21st, 2010

To tell you the truth, not much.  I mostly just hung around my house, curled up under a huge fluffy blanket watching movies, doing research for the two term papers that I have to write, and in general just resting.  So basically, it was how I normally spend Thanksgiving break in the United States.  It’s good though, because it really gives my brain a chance to rest.  Sometimes I get so wound up and stressed it is just nice to sit and do virtually nothing for a couple of days so your brain can rest and recover, like a sprained ankle.  I spend just enough time doing nothing so that I long to return to school once more so that I feel as if my life has a purpose once again.  To be honest I’m a bit antsy, and oddly enough I’m quite looking forward to the 30 minute walk to school tomorrow morning at 7:30am.  I miss walking, and it is sometimes difficult for women in Morocco to just go out for a walk, so the other day, I went to buy a stamp so I could mail a letter to my grandmother, and I took the longest route possible to a store very far away from my house where I knew I could buy stamps.  Then I took another different, but equally as long route back home.  All in all I think I was gone from my house for at least an hour.  It was perfect, I got the fresh air I had been craving, and I found out (to my great joy) that it was actually warmer outside than it was inside my house!

After my sneaky little walk in the morning I had an especially good tagine for lunch.  Actually, let’s clear up some stuff.  I’ve been a vegetarian for five years, but in Morocco, I decided that it would be better and easier for me if I was more flexible with my diet.  So, I told myself that if I absolutely had to eat meat, then I should just suck it up and try it.  I was going to try really hard not to offend anyone, so since I’ve been here I’ve been eating small amounts of chicken and fish, although I still find red meat slightly repulsive; I’m not a fan of the texture, taste, smell, or the way it looks.  Nothing about beef, lamb, goat, sheep, rabbit, deer appeals to me at all and that’s one of the reasons I became a vegetarian in the first place.  So, when I say I ate a really good tagine, I mean that the prunes in the sheep tagine were excellent, because that was the only part of the tagine I liked.  I tried to eat sheep meat on the Eid, but it has a very pungent odor, and it just wasn’t working for me.  So, my host mother has been AMAZING and has been fixing me chicken cutlets in place of the sheep, which as far as I can tell, hardly anyone I’ve met in Morocco considers it to be real meat.

Wow, that was an awfully long (and somewhat pretentious) tangent I went off on, sorry.  So, I think I was at the point where I went to a cafe with my friend/neighbor/classmate from IES Rabat and one of my Moroccan friends, hung out there for a bit, and then my IES Rabat friend and I went to do a little souvenir shopping for our families in the medina.   Afterwords it was back to the house, study a bit more, and then back out for a nice dinner out with some of my friends who had decided not to travel abroad during the Eid and were presumably feeling just as cooped up and antsy and I was.  My friend had just taken the GRE that morning so our dinner out was sort of celebrating her completion of a very important part of applying to graduate school.  We went to Agdal for dinner, which is the nice, newer neighborhood of Rabat.  While we were eating dessert, we met a couple of Americans who were working with the Peace Corps.  One of them was actually a Peace Corps worker we had all met when we visited Ben Smim.  It was nice to see him again.  They had all taken the GRE as well, and wouldn’t be heading back to their sites for a couple of days.  I’m so glad I have been able to talk to current Peace Corps volunteers about their experiences.  I’ve thought quite a bit about joining the Peace Corps in the future.  I’ve had family members who’ve done their fair share of time with the Peace Corps, and they’ve had wonderful experiences, but those family members are older than my mother, so it was nice to be able to talk to one of my peers and see what he thinks of his experiences.  Let me tell you, Peace Corps is not for the faint of heart.  Actually, I learned that Morocco has the second largest concentration of Peace Corps volunteers after the Ukraine.  So, if I decided that in the future I would like to volunteer in the Peace Corps for a few years I have a very good chance of being placed back in Morocco, which would be pretty cool.  It would be a totally different experience than the one I’m having now, which would be so unbelievably cool, and I know my Darija would be pretty good by the time I got through.  So yeah, that was my Saturday night, it was actually a fairly “crazy” night compared to my usual routine of eating dinner at home, and then going to bed.

Lastly, I’ve really got to make a To Do list so I can get all the stuff I want to get done, well, done.  The first few items will probably be emails I need to write, the next few will be places I want to visit still, like Casablanca, the next few will be a sort of schedule to keep me on top of my homework while I’m busy doing everything else on my list, because I’m devastated to say this, but I only have one more month left in Morocco!!! 🙁  My goodness time flies when you’re having fun.  I just know that when I leave I’m going to have so much to think through and process.  Right now everything is happening in the moment, and I’ve gotten used to the culture here, and I just know that when I get back to the United States my brain will be working overtime trying to make sense of all my experiences.  Sounds like a lot of fun, I can’t wait!  But actually, I really can.

2 Responses to “What I did after Eid.”

  1. Lauraon 22 Nov 2010 at 7:29 am

    I can’t believe you only have a month left! While I can’t wait to see you, I’m sorry your time there is nearly done. On the other hand, when you go back, can I come too?

  2. Kristenon 22 Nov 2010 at 7:46 am

    Yes, of course you can come with me! 🙂

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