February 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Live Journal: Nora in Morocco

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By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-123-27.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 6:44 pm: Edit Post

Nora in Morocco

Nora in Morocco

Nora in Morocco

Road to Morocco

Feb. 23rd, 2005 09:34 am Well, I'm back

After an exhausting process and an even more exhaushting plane ride, actually rides, I am home in Elkmont trying to decide what the hell to do next. Thank you guys so much for all of your support and offers of couches. After five and half months in Morocco I can sleep anywhere and think I am more than tough enough to fight Donny for the couch if I need to. ;) Hopefully, I won't have to if Kiwi can let me crash. I may try and get down there next weekend, but I don't know yet. Is there anything going on? I also have to start looking for a job. I don't want to go back to social work so I think I am going to try retail for a few months until I decide. I'm looking at Books-a-Million. Will said they were hiring management so I may see how tat would do.

I am soo glad to be back here. As tough as the decision was I know that it was the right one. I will miss my PCV friends in Morocco, but I am so happy to be near my Montevallo friends again. I look forward to seeing you all soon.


Current Mood: relieved
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Feb. 1st, 2005 12:28 pm Just when I tought things couldn't get crazier

A few days after the incident a newspaper reported it as an attempted kidnapping and attempted rape. Peace Corps telked to the embassy and forwarded the correct story to all the PCVs but they aren't having a retraction printed because they, like everyone else, just want it to go away. Of course, I did get a really sweet invitation to coucous from a granfather and his grandkids after the article came out. The town has been really supportive and keeps telling me that everyone else in town is nice. They really are. My ankle is better, and things are getting back to "normal".

I moved into my apartment yesterday. I have no real furniture, but I have a hot shower. I will buy more furniture when PC send me more money. They only sent half of what they are going to send, and the shower was expensive.

Better go. I will write more later.
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Jan. 25th, 2005 04:08 pm I am okay

Okay, as usual I don't have a lot of time to type. That will change in 5 days when I am no longer limited by a host sister who wants to spend the day with her super secret boyfriend and insists on coming with me so she can meet him. Long story.

Anyway I susrvived L'eid Kbir (AKA the Big Feast AKA The Great Sheep Slaughter), but it wasn't easy. After spending the morning listening to a sheep being hacked to pieces, seeing said sheep hanging in the living room, ans then smelling buring flesh, I not only wanted a shower but also to become vegetarian. I am not not vegan, but I did have to go for a walk to clear my head and my sinuses.

As I was wlking 2 meen on a moped began to follow me very closely, too closley. I crossed a ditch to get away from them, and one man got off the bike and continued to follow me. At that point I felt truly threatened so I began to run. They laughed at me, and I got pissed. I was sick and damned tired of feeling helpless, so I turned around and flipped the guys off. Apparently, that signal is universal because it pissed them off and they came after me.

The dude who had ogtten off the bike grabbed my arm and started yelling at me. I really think he was planning to hit me. Anyway, I started struggling and yelling back at him to let me go. Fortunately, he did, and I took off running. I ran until I fell and sprained my ankle. It's not a bad sprain and the swelling is almost gone now, but damn it's been a crazy five days.

The local police took the incident VERY seriously and had me hopping to try and identify a suspect every 15 minutes. Bear in mind that this all happened on L'Eid. Think Christmas in the States. they called in the district colonel and caught the guys the next day. The mom of the dude who grabbed me came o the house after they had been arrested and cried like her heart was going to break apologizing and trying to kiss my feet. I still feel really bad for her.

I was able to make a positive identification and the guys confessed. I think the police sat in them pretty hard because they looked guilty when I saw them. The dude who grabbed me wouldn't meet my eyes. They apparently had no idea who I was. They just saw a girl walking by herself who had the tamarity to flip them off.

Anyway, they whole town knows what happened, and everyone has expressed concern and sympathy. I agreed to drop the charges against the men at the request of their family, the police, and my host family. Peace Corps isn't too happy that I am dropping the charges, but I think the men know not to mess with me any more and I come across as being forgiving and merciful to the town. Plus, I get to put all of it behind me.

That is the short version of all that happened that day. I didn't include my hysterical reaction or frustration because I couldn't communicate well with anyone. Can you imagine trying to explain to the police that you don't want to go outside the house because the entire town is staring at you is a language that you really can't speak? Goddamn it was a bad day!

Things got better on Saturday. That night a group of biys went around town playing drums and dressed as an old woman, old man, and sheep. Yes, he was wearing skins from the recent slaughter. Man he stunk!!! That morning all the kids in town threw water on each other and played in the streets.

Sunday I went to a crazy big wedding that turned into a drunken brawl around 1am. Remember that this is a Muslim country and you're not supposed to drink.

Yesterday I went to the house of one of my students for a birthday party. It was so much fun! The kids were great!

I move into my new house in 5 days and cannot wait! I am going to do some limited shopping today and some big shopping next Sunday. I will let you all know how it goes. Anyway, I better sign off. All of yuo bums better write to me. I miss all of you so much! PV BABY! Let me know how everything goes with College Night, and if you can, I would love to get a copy of the Alabamian every once in a while especially with the results and the judges rulings.


When this story was posted in February 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 7 2005 No: 438 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in over 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related reference material in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can use the Main Index to find hundreds of stories about RPCVs who have your same interests, who served in your Country of Service, or who serve in your state.

Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.
Peace Corps Calendar:Tempest in a Teapot? Date: February 17 2005 No: 445 Peace Corps Calendar:Tempest in a Teapot?
Bulgarian writer Ognyan Georgiev has written a story which has made the front page of the newspaper "Telegraf" criticizing the photo selection for his country in the 2005 "Peace Corps Calendar" published by RPCVs of Madison, Wisconsin. RPCV Betsy Sergeant Snow, who submitted the photograph for the calendar, has published her reply. Read the stories and leave your comments.

February 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: February 19 2005 No: 449 February 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
NPCA Board positions are open for nomination 17 Feb
Mike Tidwell on trial for climate action protest 17 Feb
Katie Dyer is co-owner of Cadeaux du Monde 16 Feb
Cyclone misses Tonga and Samoa PCVs 16 Feb
Phil Hardberger in debate for Mayor of San Antonio 16 Feb
Edmund Hull is Princeton Diplomat-In-Residence 16 Feb
Bruce Greenlee is longtime friend of Latino community 15 Feb
Mike Honda new vice chairman at DNC 15 Feb
Jospeh Opala documents slave crossing from Sierra Leone 14 Feb
Dear Dr. Brothers: Aren't PCVs Hippies? 14 Feb
Joseph Lanning founded the World Education Fund 14 Feb
Stanley Levine draws Marine and Peace Corps similarities 14 Feb
Speaking Out: JFK envisioned millions of RPCVs 13 Feb
Chris Aquino visits mother's homeland of Vietnam 12 Feb
Is PCOL blocking users from posting messages? 12 Feb
JFK Library opens Sargent Shriver Collection 1 Feb
RPCV responds to Bulgaria Calendar concerns 28 Jan

WWII participants became RPCVs Date: February 13 2005 No: 442 WWII participants became RPCVs
Read about two RPCVs who participated in World War II in very different ways long before there was a Peace Corps. Retired Rear Adm. Francis J. Thomas (RPCV Fiji), a decorated hero of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Friday, Jan. 21, 2005 at 100. Mary Smeltzer (RPCV Botswana), 89, followed her Japanese students into WWII internment camps. We honor both RPCVs for their service.
Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps Date: February 7 2005 No: 436 Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps
The White House is proposing $345 Million for the Peace Corps for FY06 - a $27.7 Million (8.7%) increase that would allow at least two new posts and maintain the existing number of volunteers at approximately 7,700. Bush's 2002 proposal to double the Peace Corps to 14,000 volunteers appears to have been forgotten. The proposed budget still needs to be approved by Congress.
RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service Date: January 30 2005 No: 405 RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service
RPCV Groups mobilize to support their Countries of Service. Over 200 RPCVS have already applied to the Crisis Corps to provide Tsunami Recovery aid, RPCVs have written a letter urging President Bush and Congress to aid Democracy in Ukraine, and RPCVs are writing NBC about a recent episode of the "West Wing" and asking them to get their facts right about Turkey.
RPCVs contend for Academy Awards  Date: January 31 2005 No: 416 RPCVs contend for Academy Awards
Bolivia RPCV Taylor Hackford's film "Ray" is up for awards in six categories including best picture, best actor and best director. "Autism Is a World" co-produced by Sierra Leone RPCV Douglas Biklen and nominated for best Documentary Short Subject, seeks to increase awareness of developmental disabilities. Colombian film "El Rey," previously in the running for the foreign-language award, includes the urban legend that PCVs teamed up with El Rey to bring cocaine to U.S. soil.
Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: Live Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Morocco; Safety and Security of Volunteers



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