Before I get into the awesomeness that was my trip to Ireland, I just want to share some great events that took place just before I left and I just didn't have time to post.
- On the 10th, after over four months away, one of my dearest friends in Morocco returned! Casey was medically separated due to an accident, which pretty much means he had a slim chance of coming back, but after recovery and lots of bureaucracy to deal with he was reinstated and got to come home to us! I am overjoyed of course because he is one of my best friends' here-keeping things upbeat, enjoying my cooking, and travelling with. But I was also very happy because he is a great volunteer. Casey is a quintessentially super volunteer. We can all be easily bugged by it, but I've learned here that we all have different ways of working. He's very outgoing, loves his community and is absolutely superb at the language and so he has had a big and positive impact as a volunteer. So for the sake of his community for sure, I am very grateful he was able to return and complete his service.
- On the 11th, my only brother Michael graduated high school! I'm very proud of him, so sorry I couldn't be there to congratulate him in person, and can't wait to see him again. We've recently discovered a lot more of our similarities and I hope that he can accompany me on some of my WWOOFing adventures and I cannot wait to see the man he becomes. Mbruk brother!
- Also on the 11th, elections took place all over Morocco, including my humble little village. My counterpart, and the most amazingly motivated and all around awesome Moroccan woman I know, Fatima Fufuli, ran and won by a landslide for a position in the commune. I don't know her actual title, but some things she wants to work on are better water sanitation in farther douars, better trash management, and the possibility of a high school in the village. Anyhow, it all sounds pretty awesome and she's perfect for the job, though she's also the overworked treasurer of the weaving cooperative so we'll see how she handles both!
After all that excitement I went into a packing frenzy and left my site early Monday morning to drop off my cat with another volunteer and head towards Tanger for my flight the next day. I kinda planned to get to Asilah, but for a variety of reasons plans changed and a thousand degree train ride later I ended up in cool and drizzly Rabat for the night. The whole environment staj just happened to be in Rabat for their Mid-Service Medicals, so I hung out with them and had a fine time. I was also relatively easily coerced into drinking really terrible whiskey, and set out the next day feeling only slightly muddled, and very nervous about leaving Morocco again. The train ride to Azilah was easy enough, but when I got off in the supposedly delightful, arty, beach town, I was met with the absolute most ignorant and awful verbal harassment I've ever received in Morocco. It was one of those moments that make you question how humanity has even made it this far carrying such anger. The rest of the long, hot walk to the Tanger taxi stand didn't help as I was met with the usual harassment a lone female traveler with a big backpack undoubtedly will receive, but I swallowed hard and tried to focus on the Morocco I'd come to know and love, the people that do make this country great, and moved on. Stay tuned for a post on the trip abroad itself…