Whether you have questions about what to bring or what daily life might look like at site, the answer is probably here!
There is also a lot of great information under For Applicants & Future Trainees and For Americans!
1) Packing Advice
Where can we find packing lists?
By Jamie, Volunteer (Staj 100)
“Why am I doing this?” I think again as I’m peddling with all my might into a dry, desert headwind with a slightly flat front tire and an empty stomach from Ramadan fasting.
I bike two miles four-days-a-week from my town to the local Dar Talib and Dar Taliba where kids from duars off the main road attend in my area. These dormitories sit next to the lycee, college and 9ida (administration building), and there is a constant traffic of bikes, school vans, and walkers hiking up and down this trek.
At first, I hated the ride. The way there is mostly uphill, drari constantly yell “Bonjour” in my face like it’s a challenge, and students sharing the road leer at me as I pass. I constantly stress that my knee-length dresses are riding up over my leggings and wonder if my butt is too provocative for my site’s standards. I can’t enjoy taking in the lustrous date forest adjacent to my twirling wheels, or marvel over the crumbling kasbahs peppering the black and white highway. Sometimes the social taboos are just too overpowering to take in the beautiful uniqueness of my home.
By Jacob, Volunteer (Staj 100)
I had just gotten home from my region’s book club when Said called me,
“Come over to my house so we can talk about next week.”
“I don’t know where your house is.”
“Just ask, tell people you’re looking for where Said the barber lives.”
By Audrey, Volunteer (Staj 99)
I had spent all day scurrying around my village’s new Women’s Sewing Educational Training Center assisting the women with their sewing problems such as replacing broken needles, helping remove sewing thread that had been jammed in the bobbin case, changing presser feet, running around handing out scissors, paper, zippers, needles, and fabric, helping with basic sewing, and encouraging them. I was pooped! Women commonly ask me over to their homes at the end of the day to gossip and have tea. No offense to them, but after such a busy day, that was the last thing I wanted to do. I needed some solitude, so I made a beeline to my house, grabbed my headphones, put on an audio of Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming”, and started walking though the farm fields.
Newly sworn-in PCV Jonah Vanroekel spoke to his fellow trainees at the Volunteer Swearing-In Ceremony on November 29, 2018. Here is his speech:
Now, it's my turn to give a long-winded speech that could have been an e-mail.
I want to start by saying, from all of us, thank you. Thank you to the Peace Corps staff for putting up with 100 naive, ideological Americans with so much time on their hands, and so desperate for meaning that they travelled halfway across the globe with the simple goals of changing the world and getting some good Instagram photos. Thank you to our LCFs, to the people back home, and to our host families. Thank you to the communities who have welcomed us, and those about to welcome us. For many of us, this was a dream years in the making, and it’s hard to overstate the role that each one of you played in getting us here.
We are Staj 100. We arrived in Morocco on September 11, 2018, and have now completed CBT after having many fantastic experiences and going on many great adventures.
We're wrapping up our #55YearsOfFriendship campaign. We sure are grateful for the past 55 years of Peace Corps in Morocco and all the friends we've met along the way, and we're excited about all the future years and friendships awaiting us. Thank you to all that contributed to our campaign by sharing stories, pictures, videos, memories and support. Here's to #ManyMoreYearsOfFriendship here in Morocco.
Don't worry, we will still be updating this page with more stories and photos of the continued friendship our volunteers foster.
Newly sworn-in PCV Lauren Bullock spoke to her fellow trainees at the Volunteer Swearing-In Ceremony on November 29, 2018. Here is her speech:
Every place on this earth has a spirit of its own. A spirit that makes it unique. We are no different. Each of us came to Morocco with a unique spirit and our own set of gifts, not because this country needs saving, but because of our need to make a complete mess with our passion and love for human connection. The time we spend here is about how well our spirits and gifts connect with the people of Morocco and the essence of this majestic place.
As we transition into the next phase of our service it is important for us to understand that just as sure as there will be high days, there will be low days as well. Days that we may feel defeated, unneeded, or overwhelmed by our experiences here. But, I encourage you to find the opportunities that exist within the low days.
Youssef, for my first five or six months of service, was simply one of the young men who hung out at the youth center, or dar chebab, regularly. At that time, I was still learning who was who and what their roles were as I slowly but surely integrated. When it came time to invite a counterpart to accompany me to the Project Design & Management workshop hosted by Peace Corps, the local youth I talked to advised that I take Youssef, currently the president of the Hope Association for Culture & Sports. "He’s reliable, available, and savvy," they said. A year and a half later, I feel so fortunate to have been pointed in his direction.
By Rachael Diniega, Multimedia Committee Member (Staj 99)
They thought their work wouldn’t sell, that people would doubt their abilities and demean their success in creating a women’s cooperative—and yet in October 2018, the women of Cooperative Nahda in the Middle Atlas town of Oued Ifrane cheered and clapped when artisan leader Mustapha Chaouai announced their most recent sales success through the online platform of the collective Anou.