Tuesday, September 1, 2009

the last day of August

(written last night)

Sorry I haven’t updated recently; it’s Ramadan and I’m moving slowly. I am fasting except for water, and no that doesn’t mean I don’t eat for a month. We break the fast at sundown and have fdur (breakfast), and then a drummer boy comes around town around 3am to wake everyone up to eat “dinner” before sunrise. It’s a crazy upside down and backwards month and terrible for your body, but whatev, here’s to cross-cultural experiences! I’ve been doing fine so far, minus some belly unhappiness with the new deal and the heat combined with fasting tends to leave me a tad grumpy.

Though it’s a lazy time, it’s also totally crazy! The second day of Ramadan my whole staj had to meet in Rabat for our COS (Close of Service) Conference. And I really didn’t wanna go. I’m not in denial about leaving, but still don’t want to talk about the reality all that much. The conference was fine, a lot of feeling talk, blah blah blah, I don’t want to get into it as I was actively making myself dislike it. Plus I was fasting.

But anyway, the reality remains-I’m leaving Morocco and home as I know it in less than three months. To sum up the feeling quickly, it’s a rumbling belly. Yes I have to use a food metaphor because my belly spends most of these days rumbling away. I’m caught between two grand meals-Morocco and America. Ok this metaphor so isn’t working, maybe just queasy describes it better. I’m hungry to start my life; I am living in the real world here, but in America I’ll be able to put what I’ve learned into practice and begin my “real” life there. I hate being so inarticulate. I just had a huge fdur at my neighbors so I’m bloated on bread and high on coffee, forgive me.

I am completely terrified of returning, how’s that? I said that to a fellow volunteer recently and he said, “Oh don’t worry, soon after you go back, everything will go back to the way it was,” and that’s when I realized my true fear-I don’t want to go back to the way it was, not in a million years! I fear taking things for granted again and getting used to the wasteful way of living that I despise so much and that I’ve learned I live so happily without. I fear returning to the drama; of maintaining healthy relationships and healthy distances.

I’m currently reading The Art of the Commonplace; the Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry, and, well, what can I say? I love that guy. His case for community and building a household, oh it just makes so much sense and it hurts to think of how fragmented family back home is. If you can’t understand why the hell I want to farm, read some Wendell Berry. He didn’t tell me to be a farmer, I decided that, and it’s the way I would like to put into practice what I believe and much of what he teaches.

I suppose that’s it for now, I’ll update again soonish. Maybe once my long days of fasting are over. Right now it’s just a few hours of work here, some cuddling of Bu and napping there, and some random freak outs about leaving in-between. I hope you’re all well and if you know any Muslims, don’t eat in front of them right now, k?

Sweet second to last note: For an idea of the less cynical representation of COS conference check out my dear friend Liz’s most recent blog post.

Funny last note: Most stajes put together superlatives for PeaceWorks (PC Morocco’s quarterly newsletter) in the last issue before we leave. I didn’t help put it together as I am not very witty, but enjoyed what was written of me immensely. Only slightly embarrassing(ly true) but totally sweet. I also noticed more people asked how he, rather than I, was doing, while in Rabat, ha. I only hope my luck changes and he won’t be my only wonderful companion when I return stateside… “Briana Godfrey - Most likely to gush about how wonderful her companion is, leading you to believe that her companion is some rare man, until you learn he’s a kitty – a lucky kitty for getting to spend so much time with Briana”

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