Thursday, November 3, 2011
Chapter Nearly Closed
As of today, I have exactly one week left in
Morocco, four days left in Sedona-miz, and 19
days until I return home to . California
Currently, I am writing to you from the balcony of two fellow expats in town, who have kindly taken me in for a couple of days, following my dramatically quick exodus from my former residence. That's right, I was made to pack up and move out of my apartment in a matter of hours this past Tuesday. Let's go over some background.
After returning from Fes on Sunday, I made what was supposed to be a quick and relaxing trip to Tahannaout, a fellow volunteer's site, in order to disperse some coveted items that I wouldn't be bringing back to America among my fellow volunteers in the region. Upon arrival - after two hours of travelling that morning and 15 hours of travelling the day before - I received a phone call from my regional manager informing me I was not going to be replaced as expected.
Um, I'm sorry. What?
In true Peace Corps fashion, they waited until a week before I am leaving the country to inform not only me, but a number of other volunteers, that we would not, in fact, be replaced this fall as expected. So after weeks of prepping host families, preparing counterparts for handover, collecting materials, writing an elaborate and informative site journal, and getting my house in immaculate order, I had to immediately transition into an imminent closure of the site. Though PC 'guaranteed' there would be a volunteer this upcoming spring, they also 'guaranteed' there would be one this month. So, as my landlord was not, by any means, going to 'save' the house - and the items within it - for the next volunteer, I returned home to Sedona-miz and executed what was essentially the Moroccan equivalent of Super Market Sweep. Three volunteers and five families scrounged my flat for whatever they could get their hands on. A fellow volunteer, who also received the short end of the stick, described the feeling as being like "a King on his deathbed, everyone wanted a piece." In my case, however, the scrounging was truly a blessing as they all moved me out in a matter of hours! Gladly, all of my belongings went to good and grateful homes rather than being abandoned after I'd left.
In the midst of the chaos, I was still immensely sick from my travels up north, and was - naturally - already overwhelmed with leaving in a week. It was probably the most stressful day I had ever experienced during my service and I sure am glad it's over. As I'm not a person who usually asks for help, I was honestly surprised and extraordinarily grateful that everyone I reached out to was ready and willing to pitch in. Felicie came all the way in from her site to help, the expats happily took me in, the host family are housing my things, and many a phone call and text kept me sane that day. And though the lazy planning on Peace Corps' part was pretty damn inconvenient, it did solve my problem in having to buy each family l'3id presents next week. I think a 2,700 dirham fridge, ponjes, tables, blankets, blenders, and EVERYTHING ELSE in my house should more than suffice.
Though my bitterness over the situation has obviously not yet subsided, it has not affected my state of mind here in site at all. I am thoroughly enjoying spending my last few days with my friends, neighbours, and community. I'll be staying with the expats until Saturday and then heading to my host family's for my last three days in site. This will be my third L'3id here in Sedona-miz and I look forward to celebrating it the same way I have the past two years - watching the slaughter, eating the organs, and running from the hermas/boujlouds. Tuesday I'll head to Rabat for swearing-out, then on to Marrakech Thursday afternoon for a bit of a goodbye get-together before my flight on Friday. Most of my close PCV friends in the region will be heading in to send me off, llah yrhem waladin. Can't believe it's almost over.
Lunch with some fellow expats at Fatima's after the big move.
Note: The cups, the table, the chairs, a couple plates, the salad bowl,
the mustard, the hot sauce, and Andrea's shirt - all previously mine.