Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Host Family

4 Am Wednesday Morning 9/16/09
The Call for morning prayer has just sounded. I am in my room in my host family’s house listening to the sounds of my belly gurgle from the new high meat-content diet. I wish I had eaten some yogurt, but its too late now. Fifteen hours to go until Iftur.
I am very pleased with my family. My brother took me out with his friends to see the town after Iftur last night and then we all played PES (Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 for those not initiated to playstation lingo.) I also taught him and his friends Egyptian War, which they really like. My deck of cards has been a big asset.
My family does not speak English well but their friends and cousins do so I actually spoke a lot of English last night. My host brother Marwan is easily the biggest social asset for not just myself but all of the PCTs here. His house is the center of social activity for the neighborhood. My host mom is the matron of the community. Everyone I have met is very friendly and so far I have only twice been asked ‘Why do American’s hate Islam?’

Thursday September 17, 2009 1pm
I have now spent two nights living with my host family, and have had my first real Iftur. Fasting all day was not as bad as I thought it would be. It is pretty cold here, which means you do not really get thirsty, only hungry. I made the mistake of eating a ton at Iftur, and as a result I was so full I was nauseous for about two hours afterward. I invited my language teacher Fatima to Iftur with my host family since she is alone for Ramadan. I found it interesting that as a guest myself it was totally ok for me to bring someone home for dinner, without even giving advanced notice. I think that is one of the characteristics of Moroccan hospitality.
So an interesting cultural tidbit I think you will all enjoy. The movie ‘Titanic’ is Colossal here. Like, really, really, really big. The barber shop in my town is called Salon DiCaprio. I have seen at least three Café Titanics, in a town of maybe 5000 people! Its ridiculous. My teacher Fatima’s favorite singer is Celine Dion, and she is younger then me! Among the boys who hang out with my brother Avril Lavigne seems to be the superstar that everyone asks me if I like.
Right now I am in the Youth Development Pre Service Training (YD) (PST) hub site, where a lot of our luggage is stored, which means I have access to my computer. But when I go back to my village later today, I will be saying goodbye to Artex (my computer) for two weeks. Which means that my next post, inshallah, will be horribly spelled since I will have to use a French/Arabic keyboard. Of course, I probably spell terribly anyway considering that I am living and working in four languages. English (of course), Arabic transliterated into English (Moroccans use their cell phones a lot, but because the 9 button keypad phone is not in Arabic, they put their words into English letters ie: Sbah Lexir. Keif dayir?), Arabic (پرعندان آهرهسه), and French (the language of anything expensive (computers, phones).

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