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Showing posts from September, 2011

A Long Awaited Letter

I've waited well over a year for this letter to arrive. Starting with this post, I am going to record my journey henceforth into life as a Moroccan volunteer.

First steps: 
* read the various packets and handbooks distributed with my invitation.
* read Inside Islam to get a feel for what the 99% Muslim majority believes
* read up on Moroccan history
* begin learning French, the language of Moroccan commerce, politics, etc.
* begin learning Arabic, the official spoken language of Morocco

I'll post updates as I set up my learning schedule and start getting through books.

Seeing All That Is Around You

The stark fact of existence is one of the biggest surprises we have to discover in our lives. We exist. We are. And we exist as. What I mean by that phrase - "We exist as" - is that we (people) only have meaning in a context. We exist as primates, and this is meaningful. Inherent in our primate nature is our existence as social creatures. We communicate dominance and obedience, establish our territories to one another, display might. And while these traits are taken for granted by many people too busy to notice, they are not unused.

We are also curious.

This, I fear, is a trait that has fallen into disuse. What has happened to the bug-collector? Replaced by the movie collector. The star gazer? Replaced by the media junkie. We are curious about our own inventions, but most of us have lost interest in things outside the realm of human artifact. This is not sad. It is tragic. And perhaps ruinous.

You will never feel a surer sense of your place in this world until you foster that c…