Friday, April 25, 2008

Site Announcement

Site Announcement

Last night we had our site announcements – so we found out a little about what our lives are going to be like for the next two years.
I can’t say the exact name of my town, but the nearest biggish town is called Tounfite. For those of you too lazy to Google Earth Tounfite (which I recommend) it’s in the Eastern High Atlas.
What do I know about my site? Well it’s isolated. The closest big city is Fes, which is maybe 800 km north as the crow flies from my site. It will probably take me all day long to travel there.
The nearest volunteers are a married couple about 28 km away. They’re environment volunteers, which I am very excited about. I think that the environment sector does cool work, so hopefully I will be able to coordinate with them on projects. Also, all environment volunteers are placed close to national parks, so I will be near one. The nearest health volunteers are two of my close friends here at training, so that’s nice. However, close is a relative term – I’m guessing it will take 5 or 6 hours to travel to their sites.
My site is also pretty cold. One of the PC staff had photos from my site, taken in October. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground. I’m up in the mountains, so there will be snow a couple feet deep for much of the winter.
My host family is just a husband and wife, so much different from my previous host family. They’re farmers and relatives of one of the PC staff. She says that they’re nice people and that my host mom is an excellent cook.
How do I feel? I’m excited. It’s pretty much what I asked for. There’s a lot of work to do at the sites (in particular installing latrines) and it’s a beautiful place where I can do lots of hiking. It’s a site that’s never had a volunteer, so that will be a little challenging, but a good kind of challenging. I’m pretty isolated from other volunteers, which will definitely make life difficult at times. But that will just give me more incentive to get to know my community really well.


Mark said...

Duncan, I will Google Earth, as you suggest. It's clear, though, that you're really far from anything. When do you leave for the site? After the swearing in? Another month or so, I guess. Dad

maryellen said...

Dunc, here's what Kathy K writes (I sent her the pic of you and your little bro):

The kitchen crew at Olney Friends School sends greetings. I have a warm spot in my heart for the special person who cleaned out our main pantry and painted in cold weather. We love the new clean feeling when we go in there and to have that space attached to your face(in memory) is such a special thing, Duncan.

To see how you are sharing your life with the rest of the world in Morocco is awesome. This experience must be building character!

Your OFS Kitchen Crew

Mark said...

Duncan, I found Tounfite on Google Maps. In Google Earth, the picture of Tounfite comes through really fuzzy. The most I can tell from either is that it's in the mountains, and it's a long way from Ourzazate. Can't wait to see your pictures of the area at ground level! Dad