First off I want to give a giant shout out to M'Hammed, our Peace Corps librarian, for being a generally all-around good guy. His response time to book requests is fantastic as I received the book I desired the very next day!(granted he did come to Azrou to give us a lecture). But still, the services provided by the IRC(in-country resource center) will keep me well supplied with reading materials well into the two years of service here. So far the books I've eagerly devoured have centered around Muslim culture and include the following: Three Cups of Tea, The Caliphs House, and Secret Trespass(the one brought to me). Also a non-partisan political book which I have just started dipping into. Needless to say the stereotype of PCVs reading more during their service than the previous span of life leading up to that point is so far turning out to be true. I can only imagine what it is going be to like once we get placed in our final sites(which we find out in twenty short days!).
Yesterday we were measured up for our Trek mountain bikes which we should be issued shortly after arriving at our sites. This is something that I have been waiting for since arriving in country. The freedom of movement that mountain bikes will afford us is excitement I can barely contain. Interesting side note: apparently Morocco is the only PC country to issue bikes to their volunteers. Many people have speculated on the reasons but the prevailing one has to do with the history of the country. Earlier volunteers to Morocco used to be issued motorcycles(can you believe it!) and issuing mountain bikes is a way to somewhat stick to that tradition and offer us a cheap and healthy mode of transportation. I for one will be utilizing this perk to its fullest, hopefully my site is not in the steepest of the steep High Atlas Mountains, Inshallah.
So winds down our week back in Azrou. A week filled with story exchanges, mind-numbing lectures, and even more vaccinations(the flu shot knocked many people on their ass, myself included). In a way it is refreshing to be returning to our sites for a few more weeks. It gives us a chance to enter back into the life we had grown to enjoy during our previous foray. A life that ticks away at a slower pace, in a place where everyone knows your face and their fall over themselves to offer you a meal, a life that I have missed. I wish everyone well and cannot wait to tell you of the time we have had during this second phase. Be well!