July 20, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Jessica Seem worked with subsistence farmers in northeastern Morocco

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Peace Corps Morocco : The Peace Corps in Morocco: July 20, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Jessica Seem worked with subsistence farmers in northeastern Morocco

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 12:12 pm: Edit Post

Jessica Seem worked with subsistence farmers in northeastern Morocco

Jessica Seem worked with subsistence farmers in northeastern Morocco

Welcome to Jess' Website

Hi all. My name is Jessica Seem, and I'm currently a graduate student in the horticulture department at NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and this webpage is an assignment for a class I am taking. I suppose I will update it in the future, to make it more professionally relevant, but for the time being, I am going to use it to tell you a little about myself and my family.

I grew up in Seneca Falls, New York, which is a small town in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York (WAY upstate - not Poughkeepie). In case you blinked and missed it in high school history class, I will tell you that Seneca Falls is the birthplace of womens' rights. It was the site of the first womens' rights convention in 1848, which is where they drafted the Declaration of Sentiments. There is a national historical park downtown to commemorate the event. This should give you an idea that Seneca Falls was a relatively progressive place to be in the mid-1800s. Today, the town has a large mafia presence. If you would like to see how local opinions are running today, check out Seneca Falls Online. I get a big kick out of that site.

After spending 18 years in Seneca Falls, I graduated high school and went on to Cornell University, where I eventually got a B.S. in Plant Science. During that time, I met my lovely husband, Kevin Walsh (yes, we have different last names). Specifically, we met on the Cornell Nordic Ski Team. (Since it appears the current group of slackers have not updated their pictures in about 4 years, there are still many items from when we were on the team hanging around.) Besides skiing, many people on the team took part in orienteering events, including a ROGAINE (Rugged Outdoor Group Experience Involving Navigation and Endurance), put on by Central New York Orienteering. Since leaving the area, I have come to appreciate that group all the more, primarily because they seem to be the only US-based orienteering club that I have found that puts on a ROGAINE every year. (For the uninitiated, ROGAINEs can last up to 24 hours, and the truly hard-core do not sleep during that time.)

Upon graduation from Cornell, Kevin and I went into the Peace Corps, separately. It was a very worthwhile experience - doing Peace Corps itself, and also maintaining a long-distance relationship for 2 years without phones or email, and only two very sketchy postal systems to carry letters back and forth. Kevin spent his time teaching high school math in Guinea (it is on the western bulge of the African continent, just south of Senegal), and I attempted to work with subsistence farmers in northeastern Morocco. I was responsible to a Centre du Travaux, or Extension Center, which was part of the Ministry of Agriculture. My office was located in the small city of Taza, but I spent most of my living and working time in a village located about one hour to the south, in the foothills of the Middle Atlas Mountains. If you're interested in seeing pictures from throughout Morocco,Guinea, or any other African country in which Peace Corps operates, they put together a very interesting project in 1999 called Water in Africa. The site incorporates short essays and pictures (all pertaining to the subject of water) taken by Peace Corps volunteers throughout the continent, and it is meant to be used by schoolteachers, I believe. I really think it would be of interest to anybody, though.

We came back to New York from Africa on July 1, 2000, and got married on August 5, 2000. One week later, we moved to Raleigh and I started grad school. As you can imagine, the summer of 2000 was a big one. Although we can't wait to NOT be living in a city, there are some good things going on in Raleigh. We're not able to ski, due to the general lack of snow in central North Carolina, but we have gone to some orienteering events put on by the Backwoods Orienteering Klub. Also, Wake County has a very active chapter of Habitat for Humanity, in which we are psyched to participate. We attend Fairmont United Methodist Church. I'm actually still a member of the Prebyterian Church, and Kevin is still a member of the Catholic Church, but Fairmont is right on our block, and also has a very engaging pastor. When we're not busy with all that stuff, I try to get my master's thesis started, and Kevin works in the computer science department at Duke.

Just in case you were curious, here are some pictures...

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Morocco



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