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Looking Behind, Looking Ahead

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
- Søren Kierkegaard
Now I am in Philadelphia, visiting my wonderful sister, brother-in-law, and little nephew.

my little nephew
Just last week, I was spending some of my last days with an old friend from high school before his wedding. He moved his wedding to an earlier date just so I could be there to be his best man. So, yeah... I'm pretty important. The guys took Daniel on a caving expedition at Raccoon Mountain Caverns in Southern Tennessee. We crawled through mud and slime and seas of baby salamanders (okay, there were only a few, but it's neat imagery, right?) to discover thundering underground waterfalls and streams and stalactites and -- well, it was really cool. The wedding was beautiful, powerful. The reception: classy, fun. I am very pleased that I decided to spend this last month with my friend. Sir, may your married days bring you lots of life and love.

and sparklers!
 And now, just around the corner, I am looking over the Atlantic to a distant land. A land 4,000 miles to the East known as al-maghreb, "The West," for it is the Western-most of the Arab lands. It is a place that holds, in my mind, great potential, great mystery.

I have received more details regarding my training:

  • We fly into Casablanca and drive to Rabat, where we will be staying at the Hotel Oscar for 9 days for orientation.
  • After orientation, we split into three groups, which go to Fez, Azrou, and Immouzer.
  • Those three groups split into smaller groups to begin CBT, or Community-based Training. CBT groups consist of 5 or 6 PCVs, working and training in an environment not too different from their ultimate assignment.
  • Site announcements take place around the second week of May.
  • Swearing-in takes place May 23 back in Rabat.
  • I then go to my assigned community for a while (the "practicum phase") before returning to Rabat to debrief with in-service training. While pre-service training focuses mainly on language, culture, and staying alive, my impression is that in-service training focuses more on youth development, since by then I should have a good idea of what I want to do with my two years.

I am packed, positive, and ready to go. All that is left is to spend quality time with my family before my next adventure.
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