Thursday, September 16, 2010

You may ask yourself, How did I get here?

(apologies to David Byrne)

A belated 3id mabrouk ~ happy holiday! I celebrated the end of Ramadan with my host family and then duruing around to visit some families in the village. Enjoy the photo documentation while you can ~ my camera stopped functioning shortly after this was taken, and I'm not sure I'll be able to get it repaired or afford a new one during my last two months here.

That's right ~ less than two months, actually. Still hard to believe. Time moves through some kind of wormhole here. That first year was at least five, and this second one can't have lasted more than a few months ... Now that Ramadan is over and school started today, I hope to get in a little time at the dar chebab and nedi neswi before my time here is up.

Meanwhile, I'm working on brushing up my resume. Those of you back home, PLEASE pass my name around (I can send you my resume if you want to pass that around, too) and keep an eye out for anything related to communications or public service. Now that this whole repatriation thing is becoming an actuality, I'm kind of freaking out about what I might be returning to. I've never left a job without having the next one lined up. I won't lie ~ it's kind of scary.

FYI for your COS

To that end, for my Peace Corps colleagues working on all the paperwork associated with completing service, here are a couple of good sites for writing your own letter of recommendation:

(Thanks, Meleeska, for passing these on!)
Improper usage doesn't pique my interest, it just makes my irritation peak.
Bad grammar that has annoyed me lately, in several places, and that may similarly come in handy for those PCVs writing such COS documents as their DOS or VRF or even WTF:
It's Gandhi. Not Ghandi. Not Gahndi. Gandhi. A wise man would give a wise man proper attribution.
Something piques your interest. The word is not "peak." I can understand the assumption here ~ it suggests an increase, which could be translated physically. But it's wrong.
Similarly, something whets your appetite. Again, I can understand the misunderstanding. But just because the smell of bacon makes you drool, don't assume it means it "wets" your appetite.
And for Pete's sake, if you're old enough to be online, you're old enough to know the difference between "your" and "you're." Though even those born in days of yore have trouble with this.
Ditto for "there" and "their" and "they're." If you're not 110 percent positive, look it up before you type it up. Heck, look it up anyway ~ you might be surprised. 
Contact me for private lessons if you need an unforgettable way to remember when to use "lie" vs. "lay."
News roundup.
In the context of the current anti-Muslim fervor in America, I think Tuesday's podcast of On Point ought to be required listening for all Americans.
Also to that end, I think Nicholas Kristof makes a good point here. If you don't know any Muslims, you might try meeting a few before letting the media make your assumptions for you.
If I ever had to go back to Tangier, I'd do my best to get lost, too.
Here's a pointedly funny sendup by a Moroccan writer about the Saudis' ban on Moroccan women. If you haven't heard, Saudi Arabia has banned Moroccan women "of a young age" from traveling to Mecca ~ thus banning them from one of the five pillars of Islam. The stereotype in the Arab world that Moroccan women are prostitutes was news to me. If they visited my village, or any village I've visited here, they'd see how utterly ridiculous that is.
Then contrast that story with that of the Moroccan-American woman who has to sue Disneyland in order to wear her headscarf to work. Their "solution" essentially sends her to the back room ~ which is a lot like sending her to the back of the bus, imho.
I could say so much more about how men mis-shape the notions of what women are, what they must wear, who they must be ... but, luckily for us both, it's nearly 10 p.m. and that's my new daily deadline for turning off the Internet and doing something ~ anything ~ else. Goodnight.


faye cassell said...

re: jobs. It's my go-to website for fantasy job-surfing.

Rachel Weiner said...

Hey lady - I completely agree on the you're/your thing. It drives me crazy. Can't wait to see you in a few weeks - take care of your head!

B said...

@Faye: I know ~ I love idealist! I'm targeting my search pretty close to home base, at least for now ... but I do like to imagine all the different lives I *could* be living.

@ both of you: Can't wait to see you both as well! Though I don't like to think that it'll be nearly the last time ...

william said...

I've always said your the best copy editor I no.

I think Ghandi said something like: "Freedom is salt for all people's. It wets there appetite, peeking they're souls hunger and bettering humanity."

Okay, bad humor. I made it up. Take it down.

Molly said...

Hey, I just saw that you linked to my satirical article on the Saudi ban. Thank you.

I just wanted to point out that I am an American convert married to an Egyptian, though. Nothing really Moroccan about me.

:-( sorry!