Um, okay ~ why?
We don't know. But we go up to the roof for a look. Some of them look back.
"Shwiya b shwyia" is Darija (Moroccan Arabic) for “little by little.” It’s how things get done in Morocco … and it's how I'm progressing as a Peace Corps volunteer here, working in youth development.
This week we arranged for our new friend Atika, a volunteer with Association Marocain de Planification Familale, to visit our village for a public session on women's health, covering the menstrual cycle, birth control options, SIDA and STIs, breast cancer awareness and more.
To accommodate a hoped-for crowd, we used the gathering room at the dar chebab. I knew about 20 women from the nedi would show up, and I would have been happy with that number. At the appointed time, we had a solid handful of ladies on hand. Half an hour later, a darned good crowd.
But they kept coming ... and coming ... and coming. I lost count, honestly, at 120 ~ and for any event in our town, that's an amazing crowd. I'd be surprised if a televised World Cup match this summer brings a crowd of that size. We were fairly evenly divided between late teens/early 20s and middle age. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to know that these women were genuinely interested in the topic; got facts they may never have known before, at least not in such concrete terms; and would be sharing that information with still more girls and women.
Between Atika giving the presentation, and Malika, Fatima and Fatna from the nedi making most of the arrangements (not to mention the cakes and tea for post-presentation), I really didn't do a thing but set out more chairs, rush to find a microphone as the crowd noise began to exceed Atika's vocal skills, and keep toddlers from running amok.
Last weekend, a couple of neighboring volunteers spent the night with me, feasting on hummus and pasta salad and zucchini bread, watching a waaaay-too-long Brad Pitt movie, all in preparation for biking into Taroudant the next morning.
How can I not have done this before? It's only 24 kilometers ~ 15 miles. I used to routinely ride 20-30 miles on a Sunday morning back home. The road is flat as a pancake and two lanes wide; the wind, what there was of it, was at our backs. Yet this was the first time I've made the trek by bicycle. Inch'allah it won't be the last.
The perfect way to spend a lazy, unseasonably cool Sunday morning ~ and with excellent company.