July 1, 2005: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Blogs - Morocoo: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Personal Web Site: The Adventures of Peace Corps Volunteer Yasmine in Morocco

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Peace Corps Morocco : The Peace Corps in Morocco: July 1, 2005: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Blogs - Morocoo: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Personal Web Site: The Adventures of Peace Corps Volunteer Yasmine in Morocco

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-245-37.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.245.37) on Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 2:02 pm: Edit Post

The Adventures of Peace Corps Volunteer Yasmine in Morocco

The Adventures of Peace Corps Volunteer Yasmine in Morocco

in yet further news a girl was attacked while riding her bike and some guy started dragging her off and when she called PC, the only number she knew to call, she told them she was being attacked RIGHT NOW and they hung up on her and didnít call back for an hour and a half. and today when we trie d to call our safety and security officer to get permission to continue on from ouarzazate to marrakech so we could get to camp earlier (weíre already going to be late) we discovered that BOTH his numbers donít work. makes me feel really safe.

The Adventures of Peace Corps Volunteer Yasmine in Morocco

Jul 1, 2005 greetings from the road

Filed under:

* Adventures of Yasmine

ó jaspax @ 6:27 pm

this is so sad. i have finally found a computer that i can change to english keys and i find that i can type faster on the FRENCH version with fewer type-os. how depressing. the french have to shift to use numbers and the period, but the exclamation point is right there. that really says something about the french.

anyway, as the subject heading might imply, i am once again on the road. this time iím going to the beautiful coastal town of agadir to teach english to rich kids who can afford to go to america and france for the weekend if they so choose. this is instead of stay in beni tajitte and do summer camps for kids who donít have enough money to buy shoes. apparrentely this is in some way part of the peace corps goal, though iím not quite sure how yet. iíll let you know if i figure it out though.

my entertaining tale for the week is a tale of administrative bullshit so huge even i still canít quite believe it. wait, wait,

thatís not true. i can believe it, and itís made me so jaded about everything having to do with peace corps that iím buying a motorbike as soon as i get back to beni tajitte. those two things are related, but iím not going to explain how.

so this dude from the us embassy came to our training conference about a month ago and told us this wonderful news, that money had been allocated so that each of us could bring three kids from our poor towns to these rich kid camps in agadir. he told us that we could choose the kids and that everything money wise would be covered. this is important because even the cost of going to agadir from my town is prohibitive for most of my students. let alone the astronomical cost of the camp.

a few weeks go by and we still havenít gotton forms or information or anything. this is not surprising. when itís really getting down to the wire, we all get a message that forms are being mailed and that t heyíre due at our delegations the following monday. taking into account the moroccan postal system, this would mean that i would have approximately negative 3 days to get my forms filled out, doctors signatures, stamps, photocopies of birth certificates, and all the attached bells and whistles to bouarfa, a town accessable only by a 4 hour 3:30am bus ride. after many phone calls and several broken fax machines, i successfully got the forms faxed to beni tajitte, and despite a hospital thatís always on strike and the guy with the stamps running out of stamps, i managed to get my forms to the dude.

then again, nothing. for several weeks. now, these camps start on the 3rd. today is the 1st. and as of this morning many kids didnít know how they were getting to camp. not my kids though. my kids had the scoop. my kids were told point blank two days ago that they had to pay their own way to agadir and back. probably because this whole cou ntry runs on bribes and winks, our delege stole the money, and he probably wants to send his own kids in their places. so he basically told them they werenít going. unless they could get together about 1000 Dirhams each, which is more money than a lot of families make in a month. but i digress.

i was not in beni tajitte. i was working at a small, volunteer run summer camp in gourama, teaching berber kids how to make friendship bracelets. then i start getting calls from my campers and basically everything went to hell.

since iím the only person they know to call about this camp, they call me. since peace corps is the only person i know to call about this camp, i call them. apparrentely this was the wrong thing to do.

according to my program manager, my kids getting fucked is not my concern. the fact that if they are not allowed to go to camp my credebility will be ruined in beni tajitte is not important. whatís important i s not making waves, not asking questions, not suggessting that most of these officials are corrupt as sin, not trying to get me kids to the camp that they were invited to. it seems that my kids actually GOING to camp is not important. it seems that the invitation and the pr that results from it, and similarly the good pr of having peace corps volunteers at this ritzy camp are the important things.

i suggessted that my teaching rich kids the words to cat stevens songs in agadir was not my role as a peace corps volunteer doing development work in the poorest province in morocco, and my program manager suggessted that perhaps it was a mistake inviting my kids to camp at all.

i suggested that perhaps he had no clue what development work entailed, and he suggested that what happened to my campers after their forms left my hands was not my concern. so judging from what he told me, my role as a volunteer is to fill out forms, then lie to kids and then not help them. hence the motorbike.

in other news our country director continues to win the award for biggest jerk ever. one of my friends actually got called out of working at the gourama camp with me to go to rabat and defend herself when she hadnít done anything wrone. peace corps had mis read two of her e-mails. turns out our CD decided she was in fact a ďviolatorĒ and he meted out his punishment. i canít tell the story fully until she does, but the moral is never tell peace corps anything. she got in trouble for trying to follow the rules, and now sheís being punished like a naughty little kid stealing cookies.

in yet further news a girl was attacked while riding her bike and some guy started dragging her off and when she called PC, the only number she knew to call, she told them she was being attacked RIGHT NOW and they hung up on her and didnít call back for an hour and a half. and today when we trie d to call our safety and security officer to get permission to continue on from ouarzazate to marrakech so we could get to camp earlier (weíre already going to be late) we discovered that BOTH his numbers donít work. makes me feel really safe.

anyway, today is the angriest day iíve had in a long time, and i am sending our country director a scorpion in the mail as soon as i see one. hopefully live. no return address, naturally. or perhaps iíll write that itís from the king.

luckily for my anger i am in ouarzazate with access to a seedy bar. i am heading there now. and i intend to stay there for quite some time. just thought youíd all like knowing that itís not all funny stories of ants stealing money and super intelligent donkeys using the internet. i work for a horrible organization that i intend to sabotage from the inside as soon as i figure out how.

love and hate, jocelyn.

p.s. when the girl who was assaulted got to rabat to tell her story and get checked out, the staff asked her what she was wearing.

when she said that they had no idea how it fucking feels to be attacked, she was made to apoligize for offensive language.

she was never asked by anyone there if she was okay.

really makes a girl feel safe and supported.





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Story Source: Personal Web Site

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

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