Just wanted to give a few updates about what I have been doing lately!
First of all, the weather has been much better recently. We haven’t had any rain or snow in about two weeks now, just clear skies. It is still really cold inside my house and the nights are freezing, but having a bit of sunlight makes up for that.
Speaking of temperatures! My housemate and I got ourselves a hot water heater a few weeks ago! Basically the best idea we have ever had (besides adopting our babies). We had gotten to the point where our bucket baths were at an ultimate low due to the cold. Now all we have to do is turn on our water heater, wait for about an hour for enough water to get hot, and then hop in the shower. I never knew how happy a warm shower could make me! The heater was a bit pricey but luckily I have someone to split the cost with, I don’t think either of us regret a penny.
Last week was Superbowl Sunday so a bunch of volunteers from my region got together. We all brought food (the most American things we could think of), hung out, and streamed the game live from a lap top. Most of us weren’t able to stay awake for the whole thing, considering it started at 11:00pm Moroccan time, but at least I got to see Beyonce.
The week before I got together with a couple of the female volunteers in my area to take advantage of the sunny weather. We all met up at fellow volunteer Monica’s house in a small town called Skoura. Our day there was fairy tale perfect! We got up early to go hiking; taking a route through waterfalls, tiny villages, and a ledge that overlooked the town and valley. We stopped at one of the many view points for a picnic before we returned to town. Once we were back at Monica’s house we enjoyed homemade chai tea and kettle corn. For dinner we made vegetarian soup and our own bread bowls, flavored with fresh rosemary that we picked on the mountain.
Now for some more important things, work! I am still working at the youth center (Dar Chebab) not far from my house in Azrou. I have recently added a few more classes to my schedule. I have Elementary English twice a week, Advanced English every Friday, Art and Environment Club twice a week, and a Life Skills class for teens. The Art and Environment Club is mostly geared toward the younger kids that I have in my Elementary English classes, 12 years old and under. The class is formulated to allow the kids to be creative with a focus on using recycled products. It has been great to give the kids a chance to do more art, especially the girls who don’t have many options of things to do at the Dar Chebab. The Life Skills class is done with my Advanced students (many of whom are nearly fluent in English). This class goes over topics such as personal values, community relationships, self-expression, critical thinking, and goal setting.
I am also working with a group of female volunteers to plan a GLOW Camp (Girls Leading Our World). This camp will invite successful Moroccan women to do workshops and seminars for the female campers. We hope to have workshops covering health topics, leadership skills, community/volunteer work, and entrepreneurial skills. This will potentially be a very rewarding experience for both the campers and volunteers!