Hello! Sorry for the long delay but I've decided to continue on with these posts and I hope you agree with me that is the right decision.
So, let me just give a quick update to fill you in with what has been going on. For the past four months I have been enjoying integrating with my wonderful town (which unfortunately I cannot give the name for security reasons) right outside the relaxing sea-side city of Essaouira. The first couple weeks were difficult with the adjustment to a town of just three hundred people which can arguably not be called a town but rather an outcropping of houses in the middle of nowhere. This was somewhat to be expected as I came from a city of one million in the States with all of the common convinces one is used to in such an environment. I am not just talking about cafes, restaurants, and other outlets in which one finds entertainment but just the knowledge that if you wanted to go somewhere to hangout there were such places to do so. Here on the other hand, with such a small population that the places one spends time is at others houses. This took a bit getting used to but now I extremely enjoy it and find it quite fulfilling. Besides, if I ever get that urge for a bit more activity Essa is just a short hop, skip, and jump away J
Life here is a slower pace than I am used to but have adapted to it very well. Mornings are fantastic and drawn out which usually includes hours sitting on my roof, taking in the sun with a big cup of coffee and some good reading material. Afterwards I venture out to see how my donkey (running water) is doing and bring him a bucket of hay and oats. Once the little chores are taken care of I like to walk around town and meet with people just to talk and share some cups of tea. This can usually be followed up with a bike ride through the country side or visiting with my tutor who is located 5 KM down the road. The day usually ends with a nice meal cooked up at home and some more reading, work, or a film on the computer. Now this is a generally day but can vary dramatically, such as a day trip to Essa or all meals eaten with families in my community.
As for language, progress has been steady and surprising. It is hard to imagine that after only eight months someone can go from no knowledge of a language to being able to discuss subjects ranging from why the economy is so bad to why "No, I do not want to become a Muslim". That last one is a bit trickier but personally I enjoy it because it gives to opportunity to explain how in the US there are many different religions, which are usually come to through the choice of the person based on personal experience not just born into like they are here (Every Moroccan is born a "Muslim", although most Americans are also "born" into their religion as well, raised into the religion of their family).
I hope that was a good, if not brief, overview of what is going on here. These will continue on a weekly basis continuing to document my experiences here and capture any thoughts on the interesting cultural differences I encounter. Please continue to follow and enjoy!