Did I really say things were moving slowly around here?
There’s no word for “babysitter” in Darija – the concept doesn’t exist when there’s always a (female) family member around to care for the children – but I managed to tell my mudhir that I’m a teacher, not a mom. He laughed.
And, when I return, I’ll likely have to recruit students all over again. A week and a half is long enough to forget a routine, 'round these parts.
Then there’s Brahim, by far my most dedicated student. He’s 14 and comes to class every single day, whether the lesson is for beginners or bac students. He’s not yet old enough for formal English classes in school, yet he’s taught himself a great deal already. On his own, too – no older brother or sister to teach him their lessons.
Now to save him from the all-too-common trajectory of smart, driven, educated young Moroccans who manage to earn their university degrees … only to end up making change in a small local hanut (shop) because that’s the only job available.
A few afternoons after Kabira had started her Internet classes, I came home to find Rakya busily copying script into a notebook. She’d walked herself over to the nedi and had just finished her first Arabic class. Rakya’s not unusual; so many women her (my) age and older never had an education and are illiterate in their own language.