Saturday, April 16, 2011

On Attrition

I began my time in Morocco very scared and totally overwhelmed. I distinctly remember standing on a patch of gravel by the side of the road under a gray sky, looking around and being totally out of place. The one comfort that I had then was that I was not alone. There were five other Americans with me who were just as misplaced as I. During two months worth of Pre Service Training I was with them seven days a week, as much as fourteen hours a day. They became my support group, my family.
There was A, the older cousin with the mark of Washington DC upon her who is worldly and cool. There was C and his wife, the married cousins who’ve lived in Europe that you visit around the holidays and are wise in the practical matters of life. And lastly there is the brother who you used to butt heads with and his quietly effervescent wife. 
With their help and that of a Playstation II with Pro Evolution Soccer I made it through Pre Service Training and beyond.
It was not however God’s will that all of us should complete our service here in Morocco. A year after swearing in, the first of us returned home. Recently, with eight months left in country two more have gone. This leaves just three of us left, a smaller family carrying on until that day, just a handful of months from now, when we too, god willing, shall leave.
Attrition is a very real aspect of Peace Corps service. So far 24% of those that embarked on this adventure have returned home for medical or personal reasons. It is not unusual to hear through the grapevine that someone you know is no longer in Morocco.
It has been my sad fate to loose half of my CBT group very late in the game. They were there to help me stand when I could not do it on my own. Thanks so much you guys!

Trek Salama

This blog post is dedicated to my CBT and their A’Hearn clan doppelgangers.

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