Since LEid, I've eaten a large amount of sheep. I'm talking for every meal - except breakfast, which I skip - although other volunteers were lucky enough to have brains for breakfast. Mmmm. Since my last post, we had dinner on Wednesday, which consisted of five heads - count them, five - two were goat and three were sheep. And honestly, it was one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen. Watching people sucking on eyeballs is not something I want to see again in my two years here. Going to be avoiding that next year. Luckily I managed to not have to eat any myself, since I explained earlier in the day to my host family that I don't kill my own animals at home, and no, I really didn't know what happened to the head after it was killed. Maybe some people eat it, but not me. And they laughed at me. And so, ended my first LEid Kbir.
On Friday we had our community party to which we invited everyone we knew in the community, and cooked food for them, and said goodbye to some that we wouldn't see again before leaving. Turns out that garlic bread is widely misunderstood in Morocco - people don't like for you to mess with their hobz (bread). Remembering that bread is used as a food vehicle at every single meal, when you add garlic and butter to it, you will confirm that you are indeed crazy Americans, and think your bread is 'ugly'. Lesson learned.
Sunday, we jumped on the coach back to the beach town that we started out in when we first arrived in Morocco, and spent the afternoon either repacking or doing last minute studying. Language Proficiency Interviews were first thing on Monday morning, which I happily passed (thank goodness), and passed a little better than I thought I would, yay! Still going to need that tutor though…
Wednesday we were shipped off to Rabat for our swearing in ceremony, which was attended by the the US Ambassador to Morocco, which was kind of special. It was great to be back with our entire group again, and congratulate each other on making it through the last 70 days, seemingly in one piece still, and presumably with some vague knowledge of the language that would help with our survival in the next two years. I was trying to concentrate on breathing for the most part since I've managed to find myself with cold number two since being here. Boo. For the evening we wound up at the American Club in Rabat, and despite not being able to taste very much, I definitely enjoyed my celebratory cold beer, and subsequent Thai food (not at the American Club, to avoid confusion). Honestly, still not sure how I will survive only having Thai food on rare occasions, as opposed to my previous at least once a week habit. Fingers crossed.
So, now, I write from the living room of my new host family (who I think are probably wondering why the Peace Corps sent them a sick volunteer who wants to do nothing but sleep). Arrived yesterday after the night in Marrakech (which I mostly slept through, thanks, cold), to find myself now living in a huge dust bowl. It's cooled down since I was last here - it's still about 70 degrees, which is fine, but super windy, which kicks up all the dust. There have been scattered showers though, which helps in keeping that down. Seems like rain and wind are the primary components of winter here. Maybe I will need my boots after all…
I've plenty to tackle now that I'm finally moved here - looking for a house, finding a tutor, picking up my luggage from the CTM station (somehow), meeting with my artisans, meeting the area delegate, the list goes on… although looking for a house is top of the list. I've been living out of a suitcase for 10 weeks, 3 days, 6 hours and 27 minutes, and I'm over it. I don't even know what I have with me anymore, which is not my favorite state of being.
Anyway, there's probably more to tell, but I can't think of it right now, so I'm ending this ramble here and now.
** Oh wait - we all thought LEid was over?? Ha - apparently not! I was just served a tagine with what I thought was just lamb in it, but my host mum told me, through fits of giggles (because she didn't know the word in English, and therefore had to act it out), that part of it was the testicles. That's nice. Didn't eat it.