Monday, February 15, 2010

A couple of pictures I almost deleted, but then decided to post.

Both of these are of Simon, one of two juvenile males in the group.  He's got about another year left before he starts getting regular abuse from the older males, but he's just gotten too big for the females to boss around.  He's one of my favorite individuals to watch whenever I've got some spare time with the group, mostly due to the astounding acrobatics he and Mack (the other juvenile male) exhibit while playing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We don't have a rolling pin... we use a lightly floured (empty) wine bottle.

Fajita night!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Are small blisters which form on extremities of the body due to prolonged exposure to low temperatures.  They can normally be prevented by wearing gloves and thick socks, but if those gloves get soaked through by 9 hours of rain and sleet, there's really no point, is there?

Today was a very, very long day.  My hands hurt.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

5 months in

The last month has been difficult, to say the least.  It's not the weather (cold and rainy for the most part, though this weekend was spectacular), work (while it has become routine, it's never boring), or even homesickness, but I've just been feeling as though time has come to a halt.  Next week Sunday will mark the halfway point of my time here, and I don't feel like I've really accomplished anything.  I think it's the inability to talk to anyone other than who I work and live with about my experiences.  I've always been the type of person who feeds off of people's reactions, and without that it's hard to stay inspired.

Fun Fact:  I've conversed (that is, a back-and-forth which goes beyond the basic 'hey how's it going') with 5 people in person since I got here.  That's an average of one a month.  My Arabic is progressing, but has reached a plateau.  I either need to start studying it a lot more to get to the next stage, or be content with what I can speak now (which I'm not -- I guess I see where this is going...).

There are, however, a few lights on the horizon.  February will see a lot of changes to our lives here.  Among them, the addition of two new people to the house (a French masters student and her assistant, who will be studying tourist interactions with a separate group), the habituation of a new group in a different forest (more on this later), and a personal trip to London.  OK, so I'm ridiculously excited about this last bit.  I'll be meeting my mom, stepdad, and (enshallah) an old friend there for a week of museums, big old buildings, pubs, and talking to people who I can understand.  We're also going to meet up with my uncle and his family.  I can't really comprehend how it could not be a friggen' amazing time.

Tonight Chris, Dave, and I are going upstairs for a couscous dinner and then going to a small peace-corps super bowl function organized by a new friend and acquaintance who lives in Azrou.  Unfortunately, the time difference means it's going to last from 10 at night until 4 in the morning.  Because we have to wake up at 5:30, we'll only be able to stick around for an hour or so before retiring, but it should be a great opportunity to meet some fellow Americans who work in the surrounding areas (and at least double the number of English speakers I've spoken to!).

All this alone time also has its bonuses:  because my iTunes library has become a veritable minefield of memories (it's good sometimes, other times notsomuch) I've been discovering great music at an incredible rate.  I know this isn't a music blog, and I know raving about these tunes will reveal my ignorance of some great stuff to some of you, and I really don't know who would be interested in what I've been listening to, but some of these discoveries are just too good for me not to try to share:

The Swell Season -- Feeling The Pull
The Books ft. Jose Gonzales -- Cello Song.  One of my favorite bands covering one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite singer/songwriters.
Givers -- Saw You First.  It's so bouncy!  They're playing SXSW this
The Weakerthans -- Our Retired Explorer.  Silly music with extremely clever lyrics.  They cannot write a bad song.  This song contains the words "yes, a penguin taught me french back in Antarctica."
Parts and Labor -- The Gold We're Digging.  Turn it up to 11 and drive faster than you should.
Drive-By Truckers -- Goddamn Lonely Love.  Natty Fro, I'm not sure if you read this or not, but if you do thank you, thank you, thank you, for showing me this band. 
Also, I can't stop listening to Japandroids -- Post Nothing (album).

Right, enough of that.

That's all for now.  I hope you're all doing well.  I'm planning on updating at least once a week from here on out.  If I don't, a little scolding goes a long way.  Sorry about this post being a bit all-over-the-place, it may take a while for me to get my groove back.


Hello all,
Apologies for the unannounced hiatus.  Hope I haven't lost too many of you!

Update coming soon.