Wednesday, August 26, 2009

...the rest of the story

Well, I'm back in America for good and readjusting quite nicely. For any of you still interested in following my life stateside, check out my new blog at It's still under construction, but the goal is to keep all my friends and family around the world up to speed on my newest endeavor. And I'm not alone on this one....

Friday, February 13, 2009


Sorry to all of you have been checking my blog! I have been meaning to update for a long time. To catch you all up to speed, I finished my Peace Corps service November 26. I had one job interview at the American Language Center, then went home to Minnesota for a month. I had a wonderful time home, relaxing and enjoying time with my family and friends. Then, the first week of January I came back to Morocco, but this time instead of my Peace Corps village, I found a new home in Rabat.

My first day back I got a job offer from the American Language Center and started teaching English part-time there. A few days later and my sister Megan arrived for a month-long stay. We had some bad luck with illness and constant rain, but we had a good time in Rabat and managed to take a quick side-trip to Barcelona for a week. Check out Megan's flickr site for pictures of our trip: While Megan was here, I found a second job teaching English and started part-time there as well.

Today I was offered a full-time teaching position at the American Language Center starting next term. The term now will end March 22. Currently, I'm working there Sundays and the other place part-time throughout the week. I'm so happy to have found a full-time job!

I'm thinking about moving to an apartment that is closer to the city center. Right now, my place is about a 30 minute walk to the ALC and it'd be easier to live closer. I've paid rent at this apartment through the end of March, so if I do move it won't be until then.

In other news, I'm adjusting to living alone again. I got used to having Megan around for so long! And, living in a new place can be a little lonely at first, especially in a big city. I'm trying to make some new friends. But luckily, my friends from home Jackie and Jana will be arriving here in two weeks! I'm really excited that I have two friends visiting at the same time!

From now on, I'm going to try and update more often!

Friday, November 28, 2008

See you Tuesday!

I'm coming home early! I'm flying into MSP at 10:38 pm Tuesday night! See you there!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer!

That's it! I can't believe it, but I am no longer a Peace Corps volunteer. This morning we had a nice closing ceremony at the Peace Corps office and officially signed out. Check out the new pictures on flickr.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dar Chebab Party

Four pizzas, three bottles of pop, one chocolate cake, and I'm pooped! Tonight I had a small party for my dar chebab boys at my house. I made pizza and the boys ate, danced, and played games. It was mostly just laughing and having a good time, but at the end a few of them got a little teary-eyed when we said our goodbyes. I'm really going to miss those boys. They were fun to work with and became my good friends. I'm pretty tired now and a little sad, so I won't write much more, but check out the new photos on flickr.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For

I first heard reference to this speech the day I graduated from the University of Minnesota. Our commencement speaker was Peggy Flanagan, the first Native-American woman to serve as director on the Minneapolis Board of Education. Also, one of the youngest to serve. As a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Peggy quoted the words of the Hopi tribe Elders saying that my graduating class, my generation, are the ones we've been waiting for. Then, three years later I heard Barack Obama make reference to this speech during his campaign for presidency. I find the words of these elders inspirational and true.

A Hopi Elder Speaks: “We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For”

You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
And there are things to be considered:

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.

All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.

—The Elders Oraibi
Arizona Hopi Nation

Saturday, November 01, 2008

November Rain

October's gone already and with November came the rain. Morocco has been experiencing heavy rains the past month in all regions, except dusty little insert-name-of-town-here. It's rained so much that trees, people, cars, houses, gardens, and entire villages have been swept away. I'd noticed a lot of airplane traffic the past few weeks but hadn't really thought about it until one of my students told me that all flights going north had been rerouted south because of the weather. After waiting through a month filled with dusty winds, finally last night we got rain, too. It's still coming down strong today and everybody in my town is smiling and happy the crops will be healthy this year.

I have absolutely no intention of going out there today. Because it hardly ever rains here, the town doesn't need to worry about drainage but when it does rain, giant puddles form on all the streets. There is a really gigantic, deep puddle across the street from my house that is impossible to avoid when going out, so I'll just stay inside instead.

Yesterday I received from very good news. My replacement called to introduce herself and let me know she'll be visiting on Monday for one week. My first reaction was a happy one. I told her host family that she was coming and told the kids at the dar chebab. But, with time, the worrying set in. The little things that annoy me about my site started to pile up and suddenly everything seemed horrible and I started to wonder how anybody could be happy in a dump like this. But, those were all irrational, crazy thoughts that have now passed and I'm back to feeling excited. The host family is very excited to meet her. She'll be staying with my very good friend Kabira and her family.

I can't believe that it was two years ago that I made the journey from the training site to my town for my first visit. I had no idea where my town was or how to get there and somehow I got in a taxi, paid 5 times the amount I should have, and after a eye-opening ride through what I thought was the middle of nowhere, I got dropped off on the side of the road of a little town and the taxi sped off, leaving me standing there alone. Standing alone in the street, I took a deep breath and walked across the street to the closest store and asked the men there in my broken Arabic "Where is the Dar Chebab?"

Well, I've come a long way since that day, thank god. Now, after building a life here over the past two years, I have to figure out some way of disassembling it. I'm starting to realize that it's really over and I'll be honest, it's a little scary. But, unlike the day I arrived, this time I have an entire community supporting me and my departure.

I'll try posting more often over the next few weeks, but I can't guarantee much. Meanwhile, I think today I'll just enjoy the rain and curl up in my blanket and stay warm.