The day after PC Morocco Swearing-In is a bitter-sweet one. The morning consists of a lot of goodbyes, goodlucks, and farewells. 101 of us were off to our final sites. Some people had an hour or two trip while some had a two-day trip.
Thankfully, my site was only a day away and I got to ride the CTM bus with several other staj mates. One by one, we were dropping like flies. After about a 7 hour ride, I arrived to Rich, which is my closest major city. I was dropped off at a gas station outside of the city and had to get a taxi into the city to wait on my PCV that I was replacing.
There was some speculation that I wasn’t only given my site because of my talents and skills but also because I was a relatively identical to the COSing volunteer. So it was no surprise to me to see another African-American women with natural hair come up to me and greet me with a hug. We got into another taxi and began the hour-long ride to my new home.
I only had about 2 weeks with Ed’Rienna and I like to think I made the most of them. We took pictures with people and families she wanted to give gifts to and I got to meet some really awesome people who I know won’t mind helping me with future projects. I was quite impressed with how much she could understand in Darija (Moroccan Arabic) and I hope I will understand just as much in two years.
Then she left me. It was time to say good-bye. Although, I felt that I had lost a friend that I had just met, I knew that she was ready to go and I was ready to stay. Whatever reason I was given this site, I plan to make the most of it.
Thus, begins the never-ending journey of integration. While I can tell you that I do have 3 art classes on Wednesday and an English class on Friday and Saturday, I am working everyday. Everyday, when a volunteer steps out of their apartment and greets their neighbors, plays with the children, eats at someone’s house, or is creating a lesson plan, we are working.
I have to admit it’s very different from a 9-5 job (yes, I’ve had one). There are times when I’m bored and decide to clean the house, cook, exercise, or do my hair. Other times I feel overwhelmed with planning lessons or wondering if I’m a good enough teacher. Are these kids really going to benefit from me being here? This is working too; keeping up with my mental and physical health and aspiring to do more and better things for my new community.
I ran home in a ran storm yesterday and some youth standing under an awning cheered me on. That’s working too.