Sunday, July 10, 2011

Marche Maroc Essaouria

This past week I was fortunate enough to participate in an amazing craft fair put on by several SBD volunteers in Essaouria called Marche Maroc.  It brought together artisans from around Morocco to one place for them to sell their products, participate in workshops and network.  I was brought in as one of four YD volunteers to lead a customer service workshop with a little English mixed in.  The first day of the craft fair, the governor of Essaouria stopped by to see the event.  The artisans proudly showed their handiwork and were able to discuss how their specialty items were made.  Overall, I was very impressed by the fair and the work that the SBD volunteers had put into it.  Congrats to all the participants on a job well done!

One of the artisans preparing her booth on opening day

An artisan from Taourdant talking to the governor of Essaouria

One artisans craft; jellaba button necklaces!

The governor of Essaouria talking to a PCV about his artisans work

The artisans along with some PCV's

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Celebrating America's Birthday

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays in America and this year I celebrated in true American fashion; lounging on the beach with a campfire and hot dogs.  In years past when I have been away from America on this, one of its truly festive holidays, I have felt homesick and longed for all that the 4th has to offer in America.  This year I felt like I celebrated as much as possible with what I had to work with.  It was a truly amazing celebration in honor of my favorite nations' birthday.

On the 3rd, I spent the day at a more secluded beach with students from my dar chbab.  For them it was an end of the school year party but we managed to celebrate one of my students' birthdays as well as Americas'.  We rented a little room where we ate breakfast, lunch and kaskerut (afternoon tea).  I was impressed with the cooking skills of the boys but gave them a hard time while they were cooking which they took in good fun :)  

It was a little chilly in the morning but we still had fun wandering the rocks and playing with crabs and borrowing fishing rods from some of the older men.  Sadly we did not catch any fish but we had a good time being splashed by the waves.  It warmed up in the afternoon and the boys took turns wrestling one down to the ground and then throwing them into the ocean.  No trip to the beach is complete with some frisbee which my students really enjoy.  We were able to have some snacks before being picked up by our transport and heading back into town.    

Later that night I headed over to Beth's and we officially kicked off our raging 4th of July party!  It was so crazy we needed to have a guest book in order to keep track of who attended.  Unfortunately, I'm joking.  We had only two guests but we still had an amazing time.  On the 4th, we headed over to the beach.  We arranged to rent a tent for the night.  After dropping off our things we headed down to a part of the beach with less Moroccans so that we could be a little more Hshuma (shameful).  After an enjoyable afternoon of frolicking in the ocean, building sand castles, playing frisbee, napping and running to move our things from the high tide we headed back to our tent to start making dinner.  

My patriotic look...... thanks for the t-shirt Mom!

We decided that since dinner would take awhile to cook we went into town to grab a snack.  When we got back, the manager of the camp and the kitchen staff helped us to wrangle up some wood for our campfire.  Dinner was roasted potatoes, green peppers, carrots and hot dogs!!  Of course we sang some of our favorite patriotic songs and wore all our red, white and blue to show our pride.  We even had patriotic temporary tattoos.  And no 4th of July campfire is complete without............. marshmallows!!!  Delicious :D  The only thing that would have made it better would have been fireworks but you have to take what you can get, right? Overall, I think it was my favorite 4th of July away from America.  

4th of July cheers next to the campfire

I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th as well.  Happy birthday America!!