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Morocco, Weeks Seventeen Through Twenty-One

My last month has been remarkably uneventful and, at times, crushingly boring. Work, work, and then–for good measure–some more work. The weather here has been gorgeous (sunny and warm nearly every day) but sometimes I go several days at a time without feeling the sun on my face for more than five minutes.

I arrive at work just after sunrise, and often leave after dark. Go home, eat, fall asleep. Repeat. Haven’t written. Haven’t drawn. Haven’t picked up my mandolin. My camera has been sitting in a desk drawer for three weeks.… Read More

Morocco, Weeks Fifteen and Sixteen

On Saturday afternoon I was off to Spain. You might remember from my last post that Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival which includes sheep sacrifice, was coming up. Well, rather than listen to thousands of dismayed sheep bleating across the city (and smelling them roasting later on) I opted to travel to northern Spain. My goal, San Sebastián, (Donostia in Basque) was only two flights and a three-hour bus ride away.

On the first flight I sat next to a young man who had never flown before. Through him, I remembered the wonder of seeing the tops of clouds for the first time. It was great seeing the look in his eyes in the moment when the plane lifted off the runway.… Read More

Morocco, Week Fourteen

Week fourteen began with Austrians and ended with Germans. I had two delightful Austrian house guests, Sabine and Hans-Peter, who kept me entertained on Monday and Tuesday. Both of them had quit their jobs, bought motorcycles, and embarked on an around-the-world journey. (They took crash courses in motorcycle repair before leaving.)

Next up: traveling down the western coast of Africa. Their trip ends, I suppose, when they get tired of traveling and move on to the next thing in their lives. We ate delectable Moroccan food, played with Loki, and had a long, fascinating conversation about the attitude toward the film The Sound of Music in Austria and why most Austrians have never seen it.… Read More

Morocco, Week Thirteen

I began this post on Sunday morning, sitting in my underwear typing it up. Because, really, being able to lounge around the house in your underwear is one of the nicest perks of living alone. I had woken up an hour earlier, with early-morning sunlight glinting in through my window.

Partially because I was rejuvenated from a relaxing weekend in Chefchaouen, and partially because my work week was only four days long, my week started out great. Got lots done in the library, and even managed to begin the planning stages of a new, exciting project in the community.… Read More

Morocco, Week Eleven

Another slow week, which means a short blog post this time. After a long work day on Monday, I took a spontaneous trip to the school swimming pool with a couple kids in tow.

We practiced swimming, splashed, and even had a spirited game of marco polo, then headed to Wafae’s house for soup and Moroccan pastries. (I have been specifying the type of pastry every time because I am aware that you, my readers, are extremely discerning and absolutely need to know whether each pastry is Moroccan-style or French-style.)… Read More

Morocco, Week Nine

I’m sorry to say, dear readers, that week nine will be a bit of a letdown. One of the downsides of working so much is that by the time I get around to blogging, I’ve already forgotten everything I did the previous week. Most of my waking hours last week were spent at work, and most of the things I did there are wildly exciting to only a select few people.

I supervised the creation of a middle school book club. Made a publication timeline for the student literary journal. Read more books to tiny children. Created a fabulous dinosaur-themed corner in the library, complete with illustrations of various species and a memorable pun.… Read More

Morocco, Week Seven

Well, the school year has officially started. As week seven opened, faculty and staff ran around the school, frantically trying to get everything ready for the students’ arrival on Wednesday. On Monday, paint was drying on the wall, I had stacks of books scattered around the room, and my desk was in limbo in the center of the library. Two carpets, four plants, four comfy chairs, and several furniture switches later, the library was finally looking great. The children’s section had a big couch and carpet, the high school reading area was comfy and inviting, and my desk was back in its corner by the door.… Read More

Morocco, Week Six

Week six, week six. As everyone gears up for the start of the school year, it’s become increasingly difficult to find that ideal balance between life and work. I spent long hours at school whipping the library into shape, then worked on the aforementioned secret edtech project from home most nights. This was complicated by the fact that Ramadan was followed immediately by Eid, a two-day holiday, on Wednesday and Thursday, so most of the work at school had to be put on hold until Friday.

Still, I managed to get away from my books and my PHP code every once in a while, if only out of a sense of responsibility to my readers. If I didn’t do interesting things each week, there would be nothing to write about. And definitely no photos.… Read More

Morocco, Week Five

It’s hard to believe I’ve been here over a month already. Sometimes I feel like I just arrived, and other times I feel as if I’ve been here for years. A strange feeling, like making a new friend who becomes close so quickly that you forget there was ever a time when you didn’t know each other.

My workweek was action-packed, and by “action-packed” I mean “hours in front of the computer preparing a pretty exciting edtech project”. More on that soon. I mostly remembered to eat food: I made harira again, ate liver by accident for the second time, and probably devoured my weight in homemade Moroccan treats.… Read More

Morocco, Week Four

I received a request last week to share a little more about work, about religion, and about my sleeping habits. For those of you who don’t know, don’t care, or just haven’t had the time to meticulously stalk me on the internet, I’m working at the American School of Tangier as Educational Technology Specialist/Head Librarian. If you think that sounds like a lot of work, you’d be right.

There are advantages and disadvantages to being in charge of a library. Nonetheless, some pretty exciting things are in store for the library and AST’s one-woman EdTech department. Hold on to your hats, and stay tuned to my blog for further updates!… Read More

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