Well, it has been just over four weeks since I have been back from Morocco. It feels like a lot longer. It took me a good two weeks to feel "normal" again, or like I didn't want to sleep all day.
It does feel good to be back into my routine: going to work, grocery shopping, cleaning, working out regularly and eating normal-sized meals (sans bread). I've been keeping in touch with some of the people we've met, and that has been great, too. I'm hoping these folks will turn into life-long friends!
I've been busy de-cluttering: my office, my garage, my house. Maybe it's because I was able to travel a month with one suitcase? Or maybe it's because I saw how little some people had, and it's making me realize the things I can live without? Over Memorial Day weekend, I took three boxes of clothes to the area homeless shelter. They were things I hadn't worn or didn't need anymore. Whatever the reason, it's a great feeling to be "simplifying" things a little more.
I definitely feel like I've developed an appreciation for what I do have. Being in Morocco was life changing for me, and in a very positive way!
I've attempted making mint tea, and it hasn't turned out too bad, but I need to keep practicing. I made kab el ghazal (ankle of the gazelle) cookies, which we ate at almost every home we were in, and those also turned out pretty well. I have a lot of respect for Moroccan baking after making these - very labor intensive!!
I tell everyone how wonderful Morocco is and how much I loved it. Some people seem shocked when I say that, but I don't mind - I probably would be that way, too, had I not spent some time there. I figure me telling people that will change their viewpoints on Muslim countries, or about Muslims in general. And maybe someday they will tell someone else, "yeah...I knew someone who went to Morocco and she loved it," and they will change someone else's views.
Next week I do my first presentation/travel talks at one of our libraries. It will be geared more toward kids, so I'm going to focus on Moroccan customs, things we did, the food we ate, etc. I figure these are things kids can relate to pretty easily. I ordered a caftan online to wear, because it was inexpensive.
This past weekend I picked up some photos that I had framed at Hobby Lobby. They were from an art gallery in Tangier, and they turned out fantastic! Now I just need to figure out where to hang them.
I'm also working on a video thing in Windows Media that hopefully will encompass some photos, podcasts and video that I took. I'm not sure when I'll have it done, but for now it will be a work in progress.
Finally, I decided that from now on any traveling I do will be for a purpose or will "mean something." After being in Morocco, I have this need to do something good in the world. So....I signed up with a volunteer program to teach English in Costa Rica for a week next Feb/March! :) Maybe I'm crazy to schedule something else so soon, but I couldn't help it. I'm very excited about this opportunity, and even though it's a long way off, I know it will get here quickly. I know this will be a meaningful and rewarding experience for me.
I hope everyone enjoyed reading this blog before, during and after our GSE experience in Morocco. Thank you for reading and taking the journey with me! It was great to be able to share my thoughts and photos with everyone at home, as well as friends I made along the way. And I'm glad it made family of other team members glad to see loved ones doing well.
So, au revoire, until next time...I am hoping to use this site again when I go to Costa Rica, inshallah. :)
What's Going On?
Monday, June 08, 2009
Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States