I should be sleeping so I can get up early for the journey to Marrakech in the morning – my training mates gather for a weeklong In-Service Training, the first time we’ve all been together since we swore in as PCVs and departed for our separate villages. Looking forward to a fun reunion and a new teaching tip or two.
But, before I leave, I wanted to put up a couple of pictures of my new digs. Long story as to the why, but I’m so happy I’ve moved. No more late-night worries, no more all-hours noise from the autoroute below my former apartment, no more dust flying in my windows from the vacant lot across the street.
This place is a bit more dated, but homier. A small patch of courtyard out my back door is all mine, site of a future pot garden, inchallah.
Some definite drawbacks: I've killed more cockroaches in the past few days than I care to think about. The landlord's family upstairs is given to late-night arguing and TV-blaring, and the 3-year-old has temper tantrums on a schedule as regular as the call to prayer. No sink in the bathroom, but I can live with that, I think. Thanks to an emergency extension cord purchase, I’m now able to use my hot water heater.
Despite all that, I'm happier here. There is quiet. There's an outdoor space. And a sense of being in a neighborhood, surrounded by families.
Funny, I’d meant for ages to put up some photos of family/friends at the old place, yet never seemed to get around to it. This time around, it was the first thing I did after unpacking. Nothing makes a place feel like home to me like being surrounded by my books and pictures of the people I love.
Anny approved the fung shui. All I know is I feel more at home here than I have for a long time.
Obama's new beginning.
It’s nearly midnight, and I just don’t have the energy to go where I want to in dissecting President Obama’s speech in Cairo this week. You can read it for yourself here:
Obama’s reaching out is definitely being talked about in my village. He even gave a shoutout to Morocco for being the first country to recognize America as a country back in the 1700s. (Fun fact: Morocco was also one of the first countries to invite Peace Corps.)
My favorite Obama quote: “A woman who is denied an education is denied equality.”
And as for those who ask “why isn’t the Muslim world apologizing to us?” the best analogy I can think of is this: Do we expect the entire Christian world to apologize for the murder of Dr. George Tiller by a misguided extremist? (Sorry it's not a better-crafted argument, but my head is nodding off even as I add this... maybe I'll try again later.)
This just makes me laugh every time I see it.
A display of pressure cookers at my favorite mika palace (home of housewares and all things plastic). Take a close look at the box. If your eyes are failing like mine are, allow me to translate: It’s the “Happy Rebecca” pressure cooker! The woman on the box looks happy indeed (surely because she’s not sweating over a hot stove) and looks not completely unlike me.
Quotes of the day.
“There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on.” – Robert Byrne (courtesy Cheri C.)
“You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.” – Darwin P. Kingsley (courtesy D. Lillie)
"When you look for the bad expecting it, you will find it." – Eleanor H. Porter, “Pollyanna: The First Glad Book”
"The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all.” – George Eliot (in reply to Socrates)
Currently reading: May 25 issue of The New Yorker from Amrika (thanks, Mattchoo!)