Another Library!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Meknes, Morocco
We just arrived in Meknes about 45 minutes ago, and we are here until Thursday. We are staying at the Hotel Rif, and fortunately again, have wi-fi! Yay!

Before we made the five-hour trek to Meknes (yikes!), we saw some Tangier rotary projects this morning (orphanage and hospital), as well as the former US Consulate, which existed first in 1821! This was the FIRST consulate ever, as Morocco was the first to recognize America's independence . (Yes, there will be a pop quiz on this later. :)

The cool thing about this old consulate, which is now a museum, is that it contained both a resource library and a small library available to the public. It was started by the Peace Corps in 1992. This library is open to the public only on Saturdays and Sundays, because classes are held there during the week for Muslim women to learn Arabic. How cool is that?! I told Yhtimad, the person who managed the space, that libraries in the Nicolet Library System (where I work), are now offering language classes for Spanish speakers. She said they used to offer classes for Spanish speakers, but they are looking for a new volunteer to teach the classes. Again, I would love to see ways in which our libraries can offer ideas or materials or see if there are ways we can collaborate on some things. Tres bien!!

The orphanage we visited was also very nice, as the local Rotary group in Tangier provides a lot of funding toward the upkeep. Everything was very clean and neat, and we could tell the children were well cared for, even though our hearts were breaking a little at the sight of them.

All for now....will write more as time and subjects permit! Au revoire!

PS: It appears that lots of people back home are following along on our travels, especially family, friends and people we've met along the way. I want to say a special "hello" to Julie, Karla and Jodi, who are fellow loved ones of ours. I'm glad you all enjoy reading the blog and seeing pics of all of us - I like doing this, and I'm glad it makes all of you feel better about us being here. :)
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It is my pleasure to write and post what we are doing! Glad you both enjoy it,