"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.

19 July 2010

A.R.M. update

The Art Resource Manual is almost finished! Lisa and I have started the layout and putting information that was submitted by PCVs along with our own research for this manual. I am so excited to finish A.R.M. once I return from summer camp in mid August. Our due date for this manual is the first week of September, when the new PCVs come into Morocco to start their training to replace me and my staj! WOW, I can not believe it is almost time to meet those who will be replacing me and my staj I came in with. These past 23 months have just flown by! In a blink of an eye I will find myself stamping and signing that little red book to officially become an RPCV (retired peace corps volunteer).

SouTherN VacaTioN- July 2010

I just returned from my very hot, but wonderful time back down in the orginial site, Skoura, to see my old site-mate, April, and my host family in the Bled. The trip was great and being able to catch up with old family and friends in the Skoura area was wonderful. When I at souq and walking around in the Bled, people remembered me and came up welcoming me back to Skoura with open arms and a lot of hugs. It was a heart warming. The only bummer to the trip was that I feel asleep in front of a fan when I first got into Ouarzazate and, as always, I got a head cold that lasted most of my vacation down south. I think I am the only person that gets a head cold from a fan in the face.

Even though I was sick most of my vacation, I still had a blast just chilling in April’s site, seeing her women and the products they have been making, and spending some quality time with my host family, but now I am back in site preparing for my next and finale vacation as a PCV in Morocco. I will be heading to CROATIA on Saturday July 24th and will return in early August just in time to make it to El Jadida for the last English summer camp. Starting on the 24th until the middle of August, I will be out of site and off seeing the world, well at least a little portion of it.

I can not wait to make it to Croatia and see the country where my grandfather came from, and my family on my father’s side . I have contacted a couple of possible “cousins” in Croatia and hope to see them at some point throughout my journey.

Well, I must be off to finish up some last minute plans for Croatia. Hope all is well back state side or where ever you all are reading my blog.

Peace N Love.

4th of July in Khemisset, Morocco

Happy 4th of July, everyone back in the good ole USA (I know kinda late). I got to spend my last 4th of July in Moroco in my new site with my fellow Khemisset region-mates. We spent the whole day cooking, grilling, baking, and chilling on my roof listening to some American music. The weather was wonderful, the company was great, and even some Moroccans came along to enjoy this American holiday and awesome spread J I was happy to of spent some time with my new region-mates and celebrate a little bit of America with them on this day. Happy Birthday USA!!!!

Mount Jebel Toubkal

Well when thought it was a smart idea for me to start my mountain climbing career in Morocco on Mt. Jebel Toubkal, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I mean, I have hiked a lot while in the states, but not a mountain, and nothing like what I experienced while getting to the peak of Mt. Jebel Toubkal.

The peak is almost 14, 00 feet above sea level. The clmib up was nothing I could of prepared myself for and my body was in a little bit of pain afterwards, but WOW, all the photos, all the beauty that I saw going up, at the peack, and climbing (more like scooting down) Mt. Jebel Toubkal was worth all the mental and physical ups and downs I experienced, and I would do it again in a heart beat just to experience that all over again.

I went on this trek with a couple of PCVs in my staj, but my true trekking partner was my girl, Marrisa, one of my roomies while in PST, and now my hiking soul mate for life. We started out trek at 6:00am and what should of taken a pro climber maybe 4 hours to go up and back down to base camp to do, with two newbies trying to hike this mountain like all the pros… it took a bit longer than expected. Let’s just say that Marrisa and I started at 6am and everyone from the base camp hostel that left after us, even climbers leaving at 3 in the afternoon, beat us down the mountain. When Marissa and I finally got down the mountain back to base camp, we found everyone at the hostel outside cheering us into camp. Kind of embarssing and supportive at the same time.

Even though I was not prepared for this journey, I am so happy that I pushed myself and made it to the peak and back down. When returning back to the states, I hope to keep up with more intense climbing, but next time around, I think I will work my way up to a Mt. Jebel Toubkal level instead of going head first into something like that again.

Here are some fun facts about Mt. Jebel Toubkal, if you are intested J

* Highest mountain peak in North Africa, 2nd highest after Mount Kilaminjaro in all of Africa

* Takes 3.5 hours by mule to get from base camp to the village of Imlil where everyone starts off their trek to Toubkal, so just think about that on foot.

* Mount Jebel Toubkal is one of those freaking mountains that you do not see any sign of the peak until WAY into your trek. Every time I thought I was near the peak, there was another set of mountains OR valley OR cliff you have to climb up before you see a light at the end of this hiking tunnel.

check out this website for further information on this mountain: