"No human, nor any living thing, survives long under the eternal sky. The most beautiful women, the most learned men, even Mohammed, who heard Allah's voice, all did wither and die. All is temporary. The sky outlives everything. Even suffering." - Bowa Johar, Balti poet.

10 December 2009

Presidential Plates

My week here in Rabat has been a memorable one. Being able to eat non-Moroccan food, hanging out with other PCVs that I have not seen since summer camp, and getting my teeth cleaned for the first time in 16 months has been amazing, but what happened last night topped all of this. Last night all the PCVs in my staj got as dressed up as a PCV could get and had dinner at the American Ambassador to Morocco's house in Rabat for some delicious soup and open bar : ) We got to eat off of Presidential seal plates and ate REAL cheese and Christmas tree shaped sugar cookies! It was wonderful. Once most of us were done stuffing our faces in free yummy food, a group of us went to the Rabat Theatre where we got to watch the Rabat Symphony do Beethoven's 1st through 5th symphony. I was moved by hearing those movements. It was almost overwhelming being in that theatre and listening to the master works of Beethoven's genius. To add to the music the ticket only cost 50 Dirham, which equal about 7.00 USD. Not a bad deal, right:)
It has been a wonderful past 6 days here and hearing such support from my programing staff , and the kind words the Ambassador said to us last night has given me even more positive energy to go back to my site and keep working with my kids and my community in any way I can. I can not put into words what I have experienced here these past 15 months so you all will truly understand what I have done and have been through; it is something that I hope everyone can experience in their own way, OR through joining Peace Corps. This has really become the hardest job that I will ever love.

07 December 2009

Water From Sand

I just returned from a meeting with my programing manager and assistant manager to talk about the progress of my work these past 15 months and all the drama and hard events that I have had to deal with at my site that involve my moudir and my programing manager told me "Hillary, you have made water from sand." That was a HUGE compliment! He said that all the personal issues that I have been through at my site with my moudir and all the negative energy that was coming from that man towards me never stopped me from giving up and ultimately I motivated my kids enough that they took control of their Dar Chabab and stood up for themselves against the moudir who was not being very kind towards them as well. The kids finally have their building back and have more of a say in what happens there, and the teachers are allowed in to help me and the kids now. Hearing all of this from my programing staff hit me out of nowhere. They told me that I have only been here 15 months and I have already hit my objective and I still have so much more time to grow from that into other things.
I was not expecting such a pat on the back; it still has not settled in yet all of this, but I left that meeting with the biggest smile on my face. I feel like I am doing something beyond what I ever thought I could of done for my kids and my community in Skoura just by helping them find their voice, and I still have 11 more months to go! I can not wait to see what else I can do and what my kids will do. Today I realized how much I love my job here. Thanks A-Team for making me realize how strong of a person I am and how much I have done and am going to be doing while I am here.

03 December 2009

This is SOO Morocco :)

found this link the other day and thought I would share it with you all. After reading this article you can experience what I go through everyday in Morocco whenever I leave my site and travel. Just copy and paste the link below. ENJOY :)


30 November 2009

Mabruk L3id and Upcoming Adventures!

This past weekend was my finale L3id Kibir as a Peace Corps Volunteer! A year from now I will be done with my service and traveling around a little bit before heading back to Michigan, inchallah. I do respect this important Islamic holiday, but I will admit being a non-meat eater, I am not a fan of meeting what everyone will be eating for lunch two hours prior; it is just not my style. Give me the frozen food section any day or Farmer's Market where it is already killed and ready to grill up. I do not eat meat other than chicken, and I have yet to buy any chicken for myself since arriving to Morocco almost 15 months ago! I am very proud of that:) I know that L3id Kibir is all about Abraham sacrificing a sheep instead of his only son, Issac, but is it too much to ask for people not to kill things on my roof next to my apartment door? I will respect the traditions in this country, but I am not too big on watching them kill the sheep, so I just chill with the wives who will cook up that huge sheep after the men are all done chopping it up into pieces.
Other than that, my holiday weekend was uneventful, and it was great. It is nice to have a long weekend to oneself to just relax, sleep in, and enjoy nothing. Just studying for the GRE exam I have in February and catching up with the latest movies I got from Rabat last weekend. I wanted to soak in as much nothingness as I could before next weekend begins. Starting the 5th of December until the 12th I will be in Rabat for Mid-Service Medical, which I hear is like a very LONG week of scavanger-hunt like doctor appointments and meetings in Morocco's Capital city. Once the week of running around Rabat is over, I head back to
site for only 4 days to clean up, teacher maybe one class, and pack up for my Christmas vacation to LONDON!
I am super excited about heading out of Morocco and going to an Angelo-speaking country for the first time in 15 months! woohoo!
I am excited yet a little nervous about making my flights and being in a Western culture again, but I am looking forward to wherever my travels take me :) I just need to buy some warmer clothing for the snow in London! I actually get to see and walk through snow, inchallah!
Hope all is well back in the states, miss you all! I will write all about my London travels with pictures after my return in January!

images from:
http://blogimg0.ifrance.com/00/02/66/157424.jpg and http://c2.api.ning.com/files/uKrEuqEi9wur5o724Mymik8hRj*HWtUwch5TStI80DytcKwH7Pp*hGJOnr161kbPySIr*5vyEV7XOhdTyit1bY6KYaCCgq8k/london.jpg

27 November 2009


I just wanted to send out a HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my loved ones back home in Michigan and throughout the USA. I miss you all very much and am thankful for you all being in my life and supporting me through everything I try to do. HUGS! and eat some turkey for me :)

image from:

17 November 2009

SO-YOUN. One in a Million. You Will Be Missed.

It saddens my heart to write that fellow PCV, staj-mate (my YD training group), and friend, So-Youn, has suddenly passed away from an illness in Marrakech last night. My thoughts are with her family and friends as we all try to understand and morn for the loss of a great woman, PCV, and all around funny person. I will always remember that she loved life, reading, writing, and her friends dearly. Though I was not very close with her, when I did the pottery workshop at her site about a month ago this time, I got to know her better and see why so many people love being around her. The picture above is the last picture I had with her (she is the last person on the right side). It was at the pottery workshop she put together. This picture shows the aftermath of So-Youn's crazy spa idea and a bunch of girls who have not had a spa day in 13 months:) This photo captures the fun we all had with her. I will never forget this moment.
She will never be forgotten. Never.

08 November 2009

Birthday Fun and Indian Food

This past weekend was a blast! April and I headed out to celebrate her 25th birthday!!! We went on a 48 hour adventure to eat some non-Moroccan food and relax for a bit before heading back to our sites to work. We were on a mission to find a Mexican place to eat, but sadly it was closed. Though our mission was to eat Mexican food, we did find a really nice Indian place were we ate until our tummies were full:) It was an enjoyable time. The funniest part was when our good friend and tutor, Tony ( aka Abdullah) came along to eat Indian food for the first time. The look on his face when he took his first bite of chicken curry was priceless. Happy Birthday April!

http://www.knoxvillebusiness.com/images/delicious-indian-food.gif---> image from this site.

28 October 2009

Pottery Workshop In Zagora

From October 16th until the 20th I had the pleasure of leaving my site and head down to the Zagora region
to take part in a pottery workshop with the local potters who make the nationally known "green pottery" in Morocco. A group of about 11 PCVs got together for this 6 day workshop and learned everything from throwing our own pieces to painting and varnishing pieces and even how to henna pottery! It was a really exciting workshop and I learned a lot that I could possibly do at my own Dar Chabab if I have the funding to do so. It was great to be able to do something art related for once while being here in Morocco. It was very refreshing to do this workshop and make some neat
looking pieces of pottery to send home as Christmas gifts :)
Morocco is still amazing me even after being here for over 13 months. Bring on the last 13 months!
Other than the pottery workshop, nothing much is going on at the moment. Work started this month and it has been a bit stressful due to moudir issues, but I am taking is slowly and still enjoying the company of my kids and the teachers that are
starting to volunteer their time at the Dar Chabab! My goal is to have the Dar Chabab totally under the control of the teachers and
kids a year from now. To start working on sustainability so when I leave a year from now, the community of Skoura will be doing all classes and activities in the Dar Chabab.

Wish me luck because this is going to be one long process, but worth trying to see if it will happen.

24 September 2009

MAbrk L3iD!

it happened a few days ago and i have been so busy that i am finally getting around to saying it! so here it is all!

15 September 2009


IT IS OFFICIAL! I HAVE BEEN A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER FOR ONE YEAR! It has been one fast and fun 365 days.. bring on the next 14 months!

14 August 2009

Some Summer Photos 2009

Me with my host sister, Hafsa on a field trip during English Camp in El Jadida.

Some PCV's enjoying some beach time.
When I arrived back at my house in Skoura after summer camps, I found this candle like this. That is how hot it is here-->

Hot Summer Days. Fun Summer Camps.

Finally after a month on the road working in Morocco I am home in Skoura, Humdullah. What a crazy busy month it was! Let's start at the beginning shall we : ) I headed up to Imouzzer to help out at a summer camp with local PCV Duncan for about a week. It was great to get out of my hot site and to see my CBT family while doing the Imouzzer camp. Once my services were no longer needed in Imouzzer I headed to the coast of Morocco on one of the longest and most hot train rides of my life to El Jadida for the annual English Summer Camp Peace Corps does along with the American Embassy. Camp El Jadida was fun, different, and very busy. My girls from Skoura LOVED the camp and were crying their eyes out when they all had to say good-bye to their new made friends. The Moroccan staff was wonderful to work with and seeing a few other PCV's at the camp with me was enjoyable. In the mornings I went jogging on the beach and by the afternoon I was back at the beach with the kids to have some free time/swim time. I love my girls from my site, but when we are together in the ocean trying to swim and deal with the current, it is not the best move to scratch the PCV to the point of her arm bleeding due to a wave coming and then taking her down with you. Lesson learned. The only bummer about the whole camp was that the cooks at the camp were not very friendly towards my request for no meat in my meals, so for 10 days I really only ate soup and salad. I survived.
Once everyone said their good-byes I was on the next train to Rabat for some medical issues, nothing too extreme just broken glasses and a root canal.. well that one sucked. Root canals are not much fun and I hope that is the last one for a while or EVER. I did get sick once I was in Rabat with a fever of 102.2 but the doctors at the Peace Corps office slowly nursed my back to health by giving me water and feeding me cookies:) While I was waiting for my root canal to happen I came across a really cool museum in the heart of Rabat. The Museum of Archeology! I took some photos and got a tour in French and Arabic on the collection there and the fun thing was that other than the artifacts, I actually understood most of the tour and it was not even in English! woohoo!
Once all my doctor appointments were done I had one last hummus and pita meal and headed back home to Skoura. It was a long 12 hour ride, but I made it home safe and sound. Now it is August 14th, so that means I am about 6 days away from RAMADAN ! at least I got all my traveling out of me now because it is not fun to travel during this long 30 day plus holiday. Now is the time for me to start up my lesson planning at the Dar Chabab, get seriously into studying my Arabic again, and get some fun reading under my belt before October hits and I will have not time for anything like that since my kids will be keeping me busy enough with English grammar questions I MAY be able to answer and clubs that will be starting up for them at my site, inchallah.
I hope everyone had a great summer and enjoyed the sun, sand, and company as much as I did. Peace and Love to all. I miss you and am always thinking of ya! HuGs!

23 July 2009

"No human, nor any living thing, survives long under the eternal sky. The most beautiful women, the most learned men, even Mohammed, who heard Allah's voice, all did wither and die. All is temporary. The sky outlives everything. Even suffering." - Bowa Johar, Balti poet.

03 July 2009

A Little Moroccan Vacation with Michaela!

Last week was one wild Moroccan ride when my German pal, Michaela, came to visit and we traveled all of Morocco visiting 7 different cities in her very short time here! We went to Meknes, Fez, Essaoura, Agadir, Ouarzazte, Marrakech, and my home town-site Skoura. Let us just say that we were in a new city almost everyday. It was so much fun seeing her and traveling throughout Morocco with my first visitor and good friend from high school. It was interesting how different we saw Morocco. One perspective is from the eyes of the tourist: Michalea, and the other is from a local point of view: Me. She saw a lot of nice boys who wanted to talk to her in French and I saw a lot of rude boys trying to get our attention in cat calling and saying "cava gazelle" us... aka harassment.
We saw many popular sites in Marrakech, Fez, Agadir, and Meknes. Chilled on the beach during the Genoua Festival in Essoura, and we hung out and had dinner with my host family in Skoura. I was happy that Michaela got to see both sides of Morocco; what the tourist see and what I see everyday. There were moments of stress due to the constant traveling and the intense heat which did not bring out the best in me or her at moments, but just being able to hang out with an old friend, travel, and even argue was refreshing :) I was sad when she had to leave to go back to Germany, but I know that we shall see each other again soon as we always do.
Now I am back in Skoura getting ready for some fun 4th of July activities. pool...sun...the very American game of beer pong.. and hanging out with other Americans. I hope everyone back home has a safe and enjoyable holiday!
After the 4th of July I will be staying in my site for a week or two then from 19th of July until the 5th of August I will be doing two summer camps! crazy busy, but that is my life here. can not complain about anything BUT the heat! It is already 100 degrees and it is not even the hottest month of the year, that belongs to the month of August, which Ramadan will begin. Let's just say I am not looking forward to that 40 day holiday where all Moroccans fast from sunrise to sunset. They prob. will not be the nicest of people when I will be out and about in the dead 120 degree heat of summer and they have not drank any water since 4am. It's going to be a LONG August so I will be enjoying as much of July as I can :)

18 June 2009

After IST there was some pretty good flooding in Skoura as you can see. To give you a good idea that road is a a couple feet high so the rain coming down from the mountain really messed up the roads. This weather is not very common for this area.

17 June 2009

Culture Shock, IST, and Flooding

I got one of my first culture shock moment since coming to Morocco. I was in Marrakech for IST (In Service Training) and for the first time since working here I walked into an Acima store, which is a Walmart-like store in Morocco. When the sliding glass doors opened up for me and I heard horrible background music being played, sample cheeses being given, and a huge selection of cereals, I almost cried. No lie. I had to hold back a tear. I just stood in the middle of the produce section with my mouth open in awe on how they had so many options to pick from. They had all these different kinds of cheeses ( BLUE CHEESE! I have missed that so much) to meats (I do not eat meat really anymore, but it still wowed me). Even the badly lit atmosphere brought a smile to my face. I mean I could buy cereal, REAL cheese, and a blender all in one place along with vodka and the mixer of my choice! I really thought I was dreaming this. At my site they do not have cereal so I have to travel over a half an hour to buy some, they only have the fake kind of cheese in Skoura, and blenders can only be found for a decent price on souq day which are Mondays. It was nice to just remember that places like Acima really do exists in this country.
IST was a good break from my site. It was nice to take some time away and be around some friends, share ideas, and just have some time to think about my site and the choices that I have to make. My moudir came up and I had meeting number 6 with him and PC staff about certain issues that are still not resolved, but I feel that now my moudir and I are on the same page and if something happens again, Peace Corps and myself will have to make some changes. No worries. I got to swim in a pool for the first time in months and wear shorts and a tan top in public! that was huge! Back at my site I would of totally gotten Hsuma ( same on me) for wearing such things. If i wear anything higher than my calf and any lower than my collar-bone, it is too much skin here, so it has been limiting.
I had to stay in Marrakech a day or so longer after IST since I had a tooth issue. Last week a section of my back left molar broke off so during IST I got it taken care of. It took 3 trips to see 2 different dentist when each time I went in for an appointment I was attacked by those huge needles I have a fear of to the point where I act like a 5 year old. It is really scary to be in a dentist chair with a huge and very painful needle about to bit stuck in you and the dentist is talking to you in another language other than your mother tongue trying to tell you what the next step is in getting the tooth fixed. Lets just say that it was not the highlight of my week.

I had enough time in between PC sessions and doctors appointments to go out in Marrakech and buy some summer clothes, eat some good food, and enjoy the city. I also got to see some of my good Moroccan friends like Atika. After spending 8 days in Marrakech I was ready to head back home to Skoura. The ride through the Tishka was LONG but not as boring since another PCV and myself found eachother on the same bus which was fun. The only issue I came across on my journey back to my site were major thunder storms that were going on down south. I have been living in Skoura for over 7 months and I have never seen it rain as much as been these past few days. On Monday when I returned home to Skoura, I was stuck in a 3.5 hour traffic jam because of a washed out road on the way from Ozt to Skoura. I will post photos up later. It is so strange to see so much water in an area that never really gets water. It kind of reminded me of Michigan for a moment. The intense heat before the rain began, the feeling of rain on the skin, and watching the storm roll in slowly from afar was beautiful experience.

This next week will be one great week because I am having my first friend come and visit me in Morocco!!! Michaela who was an exchange student from Germany my Jr. year of high school is coming down to Skoura and traveling the coast with me for a few days. I can not wait!

15 May 2009

Hitting the road

Well starting this Sunday I will be hitting the road in Morocco for a while. On Sunday I will be heading to Immouzzer to see my 1st host family for a day or two. Then I am off to Azrou to meet up with my fellow Art Resource Manual partner and cool gal, Lisa to start work on that book. After a day or two of work on  the book we are both heading to Rabat to go to our annual Warden meeting where hopefully the hotel we are staying at has a shower! 1st non-bucket bath in 3 months! woohoo. After that meeting I will be heading back to site where I will stick around for a week or so then I am off to Marrakech for IST which I am not looking forward to. I am not a fan of forced bonding and getting tested on my not so new and improved language skills, but I will enjoy as much as I can. I am happy that my friends will be there so it will take all those LONG hours of "fun activities" PC has planned, tolerable. Once I return from IST I will be working for 5 days then off yet again but with my good friend Michaela from Germany, who is coming to Morocco to see me. My first friend to visit my new home:) Once the fun times are over with Michaela I will be back in Skoura for 3 days then off to the coast for summer camps until July 14th. That date might change, but as you have read, this is going to be one LONG couple of months. I am totally excited about it, but now I am catching myself day-dreaming about doing nothing once I am done with all this running around. I hope once things calm down for me, to go on that awesome two day hike from my site in Skoura through the High Atlas Mountains to another PCVs place. It is suppose to be an awesome hike! we will see. 

11 May 2009

Salsa Prom 2009!

Now that is what I call a party :) good to see everyone, catch up, and have a drink or two. I won the raffle of one free bottle of my choosing :) and I was voted most likely to bust of a move at any time if there is music on. The Rose Festival which was going on the same day was beautiful and very hot. I am finally getting tan  and it only took 8 months! The PCV's who came to the party were also working hard that day with their local artist and the work they brought from their site to sell and advertise their sites product. There was some really good products that they all brought from hand made wallets to purses and daggers! cool stuff! We named a Salsa Prom King, Tim and Queen who I think was Evan. Not many men can wear a skirt and work it like he did, he totally earned his crown that night :) On this day I also got to meet my new site-mates (26 km away but still site-mates) a really awesome married couple, Sean and Amber. They are Health Volunteers and I can not wait to bike out to their place to see their site and also do some Cross- Sec. work with them involving Health related issues!  Moroccan life is not too bad right now :) humdullah. 

30 April 2009

The Biggest Dagger I Have Seen!

Here is the BIGGEST dagger I have ever seen! It is taller than my site-mate April and I just barely pass it! AWESOME.

Painting at the Dar Chabab!

I finally got to do some sort of art today at my Dar Chabab! It has been difficult due to the construction that is STILL going on  (since January) and the lack of supplies is hard to, but the kids and my moudir got together and found some paint and paint-brushes and went to town making a mural of the city of Skoura on one of the walls outside the Dar Chabab. The kids had a blast and I was over the moon about being able to do something art related! Also this week I am starting my Art Club! along with other clubs like Youth Cafe, Journalism Club, and Activity Time (biking, sport, games, anything active) on top of my 6 hours a week of English. I have almost 16 hours a week of work! It is great, but i am getting so busy that having time to sleep and to even relax is becoming hard, BUT soon (June 2-6) the kids will have their exams and things will slow down for me and i will be able to get totally bored over the summer and I will be wanting to be busy again. I think the summer will be fine though, I have 3 months to get my lesson plans together for October, I will be working on the Art Resource Manual along with my PCV pal Lisa, and I will also be doing 4 weeks total of Summer Camps on the coast :) That should be fun! 
The issue I was having at my site are still somewhat present, but the issue is being controlled by people who are in a higher power of government position and have been helping me be able to do my job better here. We shall see how these next 6 weeks go. I think no matter what I will be in Skoura over the summer and after Ramadan. When October begins, we shall see how the issue is then and if it is still not the best situation for me, PC will just site change me to another city, but things at the moment seem to be playing out okay. Only time will tell, but I am not worried about it. 
Last weekend i went to Kalaa M'gouna with my site-mate April to meet up with the 5 other PCV's that live in this huge city just 55 Km. from my site. We hung out with another PCV who works with dagger makers in Kalaa. It was amazing to get a tour of where these men work and how they make such detailed dagger work. The history behind the daggers has a huge Jewish background here. When the Jewish people came to live in Kalaa they brought their dagger-making skills to the Moroccans of this site and from there the people of Kalaa have made it more Islamic in style and design. The patterning is more detailed and the dagger case is  curved instead of straight case shape.  April purchased a beautiful dagger for her boyfriend back home and both her and myself got a photo taken of the two of us hold the BIGGEST dagger i have ever seen. Two men from the Co-Op made that dagger together! awesome !

22 April 2009

Almost Forgot!

they are already kicking some major butt in the playoffs.. just wait until they take back The Cup to its rightful place... The Joe. Everyday there is a wings game, i am wearing my red wings hat in support since i can not grow a beard and even if i tried to wear a fake one.. i do not think that Skoura would really understand it other than them saying "Poor American single female has gone crazy.. muskina (poor girl). She needs a husband."
GO WINGS! you have international support coming all the way from Morocco :) 

life's little ups and downs

in a nutshell, things are not 100% but when joining PC you are told about and "prepared" for the ups and downs... wish me luck:) inchallah things will work out just fine in time. I am super excited about the planning of a Art CLub like resource manual for PC! with my trusty friend and fellow PCV Lisa! in May i will be meeting up with her to start the foundation to hopefully one awesome resource book for PCVs who are interested in starting an art club at their Dar Chabab's or Nedi Neswi's. It will also be used for those who are wanting to use art in their everyday activities in their community. Again we are trying to define our resource manual little by little. Hopefully by the end of May we will have something going :) 
well it has been one LONG week, but soon i will give new updates. Life has been so busy that sadly i only have time for this short blog.. but i am thinking of u all and missing every last one of you :) keep in touch and snail mail me sometime;0P

09 April 2009

MaRcH: Greece, Birthday, and Spring Camp

March was one LONG and Crazy month for me:) I loved it! In early March I set off to Athens, Greece to meet up with some old College friends who were on a week long Class Spring Break trip through Greece. It was amazing to see all the history, architecture, eating all that Greek food, and drinking my vodka-tonics in public again! god I missed Western culture at times. The most fun out of the whole trip was being able to see my friend and fellow art history major Amber O. I have been missing her like crazy and it was great to catch up in Athens! The only annoying part of the whole trip was waiting for my flights (yes i did connecting flights).. like 12 hours waits. I do not think I will be waiting that long again. Once I returned from Athens, I went straight to Essouaria to meet up with a few PCV's and enjoyed the coast:) Once my vacation days were up I went back to my site and did my teaching. By leaving I realized how much I liked being in Morocco and doing this job. Do not get me wrong, it is really stressful, but there is something about this place that i can not put into words. Morocco has this draw that I can not explain and I have yet to be board of it :) After getting back to site, it felt like I had to pack up and leave again for a whole other adventure... English SPring Camp in Zagora, a city about 4 hours south of Skoura. For 8 very LONG yet rewarding days me along with 7 other PCV's and Moroccan staff had a great camp with a fun group of 80 kids! We went on field trips, taught 3 different levels of English, and put together 3 days worth of Clubs for the kids to partake in. I did second level English and the GGLOW club (GGLOW means Girls Guys Leading Our World). It was called a Leadership Club and I had a decent amount of kids show up and participate in the club. 
Now it is April and things are starting to clam down a little bit for me, humdullah! I also want to take this time to thank everyone who sent me, called me, or emailed me a happy birthday this past month! I spent my birthday in Marrakech eating Chinese food for the 1st time in 6 months, buying DVDs of films still in theaters in America:), and actually went out dancing. It was enjoyable, but it would of been better with my bar crew from GR there with me along with my pals back home in Marshall and Battle Creek (miss u all). Thanks mom and dad for the love, support, and also having some ice cream in my honor back at home for my birthday. 
April will be a slow month for me, but when May hits  i will back on the road for PC meetings in Rabat (2 day trip for me to get there from my site) and meeting up with other PCV's to get my Art Club Resource Manual started! I am super excited about this project. I will talk more once i have my meeting with my friend and fellow PCV Lisa who is collaborating with me on this project. 
My site is slowly getting hotter and hotter! it is already hot enough here for me and it is not even summer yet. It has to be at least in the 70's here right now. By the time July and August hit  I hear it will get up to 120! holy crap that is hot! 
Well that is all for now. I will write again soon with more updates on life, work, and all the things in between. 
MISS YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!

26 February 2009

R.I.P. iPod 2006-2009

today is a sad day in the ipod world.. my ipod nano of over 3 years has left this world and is now in ipod heaven. It was a peaceful death.. i found it this morning turning on but no movement.. it is in a comma i think it will never come out of... the medical is too much $$ ( traveling to the only MAC store in Morocco is a 13 hour drive and a lot of money). It was one amazing ipod... it saved my Jr. year at KCAD when my PC motherboard died and saved all me research papers and powerpoints. It helped me with my gym days and always picked great shuffel songs to play while i walk. YOU WILL BE MISSED. It just sucks it is right before my awesome Athens adventure in 6 days where i have a couple 7 hour plus layovers in two different airports.. not sure how i will make it without ipod. *tears* maybe i will buy something here cheap until i get enough money to buy another ipod nano (not the large ipods.. nanos are best for working out and are small  enough to not take up too much room for traveling). It might even be a great birthday gift;) Just putting it out there. 
again, ipod... you will be missed. 

14 February 2009


If anyone can send me some awesome workout videos or things listed for working out uses on my Wish List on this site... send them PLEASE! i live at a site where women do not work out in public and i have been getting up at 7am just to get a good jog in before anyone sees me. it sucks but it is a reality here in Morocco. you all know that i was a 5 days a week gym girl and now this gym girl is going crazy and would love to have something to keep her healthy. 
thank you for your time:)

03 February 2009

Moving In!

Well hello everyone! Life has been very busy for me these past few months with teaching 4 different levels of English in Skoura’s Dar Chabab (Beginner, Intermediate, BAC, and Adult beginner) and also doing a 3 hours sport and movie night, things have been crazy but totally enjoyable. My DC is actually under construction at the moment and will be like this until the summer I believe. That is one of the many things in Morocco that you do not have an official end date or month. They told me a couple months so that means in Moroccan time 4 months. I just now officially moved into my own apartment in Skoura, painted it, and have actually been cooking meals for myself using only a stovetop and a gas tank. Using a gas tank to cook is not the safest thing on earth to use, but if you know what you are doing and it is a good tank, there are no issues.
I will hopefully be heading off to Greece in March to see my friend and fellow Art History nerd Amber O in Athens for a few days to take in some Greek culture and enjoy the days off that I have earned these past 5 months. I have earned 6 days so far and when I return from Athens in March I will have 0 until April. Totally worth using up my days to see good friends and some good art FINALLY! I mean I love the art and culture in Morocco, but now Morocco is home and I am ready to leave home and have an adventure IF anyone has any suggestions on where I should go and what I should do in Athens please write me! I will love any tips.
I am not sure but I MIGHT in the next couple of months be getting WIFI at my house. It would be great to have it here and be in contact more with everyone back home. Also it would be nice to actually get online past 8 pm because after 7 or 8pm here in Skoura it is not the best of ideas to walk alone to and from the cyber in town. Safety and also most things close by 8 anyways around here.
I have been hearing that the weather back home in Michigan and across the East coast has been insane! Snowing for days and just recently a 3inch ice storm! Wow! I mean it is cold here but nothing like back home. My host family tells me that it should be warming up to the 60 or 70s by march which would be great, but once May hits down here it is going to be so hot you will not want to move and take cold showers at 3am just to cool down. EK. We will see how my living in humidity-engulfed Michigan will either help or hurt me in dealing with the heat here. This might sound kind of great here the weather and all, but honestly I miss the housing architecture from the states where there is actual instillation in the walls! Here there is nothing by concrete and mud huts. Mud huts are much better but kind of crumble after a couple decades. Concrete housing is REALLY good at trapping in the cold in the winter and absorbing the heat in the summer. For example, my salon is actually really cold right now. My fingers are cold and I have a heater going, but when I walk outside to my terrace it is very warm and I feel like I can take off my jacket. I am just trying to imagine the summer months and living in this apartment.
I just want to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone that has been sending me mail these past couple months. I just got a couple of letters from my mother’s friends at church, my writing pen pal Amber O, and my favorite teacher and friend Dr. Eberly. Thanks again. Those letters always make my week here Skoura better. I already am starting a wall up in one of my salons of the cards and letters I am getting so I can look up at them when I am having a not so great day and remember that I am getting some international love from back home
Well I am off to teach and unpack. I hope everyone is doing well back home, keeping warm. I am thinking of you all and hope to hear from you soon.
Hillary Lynn