Saturday, November 1, 2008

labas

30 October

I am overcome with love and respect for my village right now. I woke up early to singing from the mosque. Generally the only thing you hear from a mosque is the call to prayer five times a day, but sometimes there are songs. The songs are actually Koran readings and I find them very beautiful regardless of my not knowing the words or necessarily believing in their meaning. Today I found out this reading was for a woman who just died nearby. I don’t know what makes her passing different than others; just two weeks ago one of my neighbors died and there was no singing, maybe I’ll find out soon. I’ve been to quite a few death ceremonies, very similar to baby naming ceremonies and even weddings; lots of the same food, lots of people, lots of waiting, lots of hanging out. The difference of course is death ceremonies are sad and rather than drumming and joyous old songs, there is a lot of howling and wailing. They are supposed to last three days, but seem to go on a bit longer around here. Anyhow an important part of death in Islam is that the body must be buried very quickly, I think within 12 hours or something. So a few minutes ago I heard more singing along with the mosque and looked outside my window. 30 or so men were walking with the casket by my house on their way to the graveyard. It was just very beautiful to me and though I couldn’t attend the burial because I am a woman, I’m thankful I could observe some part of the ritual.

Aside from this little moment of culture and loving my site, I have been well overall. I think it’s very much due to the CBT presence the past month and a half. Yesterday was their last day here and I felt little bits of sadness like I did last year when I was one of them leaving my first home in Morocco. It almost felt like I was leaving too, but thankfully I’m not yet, and more importantly, I don’t want to yet. I wouldn’t say work is going any better or that I have changed in any significant way but like any family I do love this little village and these people I’ve lived among for the past year. In small ways I have grown closer and more confident among the women I work with, particularly my counterpart. There’s a lot of new projects coming up, busy times and I hope to be a more integral part of it all. Oddly enough, I think it’s my newfound love and joy in cooking that has brought me closer to the women. For various affairs lately I’ve been bringing baked goods and they friggin love it! So I guess if I can’t talk, I’ll bake. Cinnamon rolls, focaccia, pumpkin spice cake, yogurt cake, chocolate pudding cake, pita bread. So okay I guess I’m not really teaching them anything about staying healthy, but I’ll work on that…

One recent event that really helped me out was a visit from Alia Kate. Her site is much more informative than I am but essentially she has an entrepreneur fellowship to start a business carrying Moroccan goods in America. She came to my site to have a look at their product and bought five huge hanbils! And has ideas for future custom orders. It was great and they loved her. Her site is www.kantaracrafts.com and her blog is www.kantaracrafts.blogspot.com once im on my own computer again ill update my links and add these.

Another reason for my recent bought of calm is feeling a little more confident about my life after Peace Corps. I know a lot more about what I want to do. I’ll update more on that soon, I’m trying to stay on a little dreamy honeymoon with my ideas before I start growing them on earth. And I’ve got plenty more books to read…

Anyhow I’m heading out, this afternoon my site mate and I are hiking our now very cold mountain again for a look at the snow. Snow before Halloween, can you believe it!? It’s actually the first clear and lovely day we’ve had in quite some time. I hear there’s been crazy flooding in many parts of the world, and we are certainly part of that group. It just never seemed to stop! I am in an area where snow and rain are expected but not nearly to the extent we’ve been having. There is nowhere for the water to go so it’s all pooled in the fields. Tons of corn, onion, garlic and potato fields have been completely drowned, mushkil imkor! (very big problem!) Nearby a few people were killed, over a hundred sheep and some donkeys. It’s awful, but today is clear and hopefully we’ll have a few dry days. I also hope the weather chills out so I can take my little trip! I’m heading down, on Halloween as it happens, to see a few friends and then visit my CBT site! It will be the first time I’ll see my first home and family in Morocco since I’ve been sworn in as a PCV. I’m very excited because I really loved my host mom and family and feel terrible it’s taken me so long to go see them. Then I’ll be heading back up and hopefully be able to watch the elections with some friends who live somewhere with access to it live!

That’s it for now, hope you’re all well and Happy Halloween!

2 comments:

Debbie said...

Great update! I love hearing about the ceremony and your experience of it. I'm so glad for you that you are somewhat happy!!!

Love, Mom

Alia Kate said...

hey Bri,

Nice post, and thanks for the shout out! It seems like it's just gotten colder and colder since I was there a few weeks ago-- stay warm in that little hammock of yours!

Let me know what your email address is because I'd love to get some pictures, stories, and have a few more questions for you...

Cheers,
Alia