Skip to main content

My Moroccan Family

Like I explained in my last post, the Peace Corps pairs each volunteer or volunteer couple with a host family.

For the sake privacy, I'll shorten their names. We'll call my host family the Zs. There are five Zs in my host family:

Mama Z is always very considerate and kind. She treats me as if I were her own son, and she is always finding ways to make me feel welcome in the house. Additionally, she is a very devout woman, soft-spoken, and hard-working. Her cooking is tremendous and generously portioned. When she laughs, the whole room brightens.

Mus-Z is the oldest brother and hence the oldest male in the house. He rides to the city center on his motorcycle every day to work. He is a man of fashionable taste and few words, and he often wears a serious expression. Mus-Z took me on my very first Hammam trip and oriented me to the layout of the community.

Mou-Z is the middle brother in the Z household. He goes to school every day and seems to be a serious student. He is especially interested in learning English, and talks to me more than anybody else in the family. We exchange little language lessons with each other once every few days. Our conversations have ranged from poverty in Morocco to religion. Unfortunately, I have a long way to go with my Arabic, so these conversations necessarily have to remain pretty simple.

is my host sister. Like her mother, she works hard around the house cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. She also goes to school. Mer-z knows more English than she speaks, and I sometimes get the feeling that she understands a great deal of what I am saying, but is refraining from using English. She obviously has a very kind heart, just like Mama Z and will grow up to be a very kind woman.

is the youngest son. He can be wild and crazy, yipping around the house and making people laugh, and he can focus his energy into tasks like repairing his bicycle. He works as a mechanic during the day. Ham-Z is full of electricity and introduces a kind of uncertainty to the household. In other words, he keeps us on our toes.

In short, my family is wonderful.

I have talked with many other volunteers from all of the HUB sites - Fez, Azrou, Immouzer, and I am fully convinced that I have the best family situation. They give me plenty of privacy when I need it, they don't interfere with my studying, and they give me lots of freedom in going out in the community and doing my own thing. On the other hand, I always feel welcome joining them in the living room, they are always happy to brave a conversation with me, and they show interest in and concern for my day-to-day. I would bring them with me to my permanent site if I could.
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Clink (New Friends)

Each other is all we have. It's no surprise, then, that when we think about the chapters of our lives, those chapters usually begin and end with the beginning and ending of relationships. My current chapter began in July 2016, when I made the move from Philadelphia to Denver. In many ways, it was the fulfillment of a promise made between Peace Corps friends; Carly, Evan, and I spoke often of our desire to live in the same place some day, and after two wonderful years spent with Kyla, it was time for me to join them.

The great advantage to this arrangement is that Evan and Carly had been cultivating friends in my absence, so upon my arrival last summer, I was met with a wonderful group of people who had been carefully conditioned by Evan and Carly to like me.

Readers of this blog will remember Evan and Carly from my Peace Corps days. They were the closest I had to family for two years, and by the end of our service, we were inseparable.


Pappy. Pop-pop. Dilly-dally. Evan is know…

Reaction to Dante's Hell as Portrayed in Dante's Inferno

Since its Patristic roots, the Church has struggled with two seemingly contradictory aspects of God's nature. One one hand, God is said to be loving and caring towards his creation. At the same time, however, God is seen as a judge, dealing out justice to all according to their actions. Some Christians have argued that God, due to his overabundance of love, can never punish or cause harm. Other Christians have no qualms in maintaining that a loving God sends people to Hell, even against their own will. Most fall in between these two extremes. I would maintain that Dante's view of punishment in Hell errs on the side of the latter extreme, given the assumption of a loving God as described in Christian literature. The God portrayed in Dante's Inferno punishes based on gross oversimplifications. His God ignores the larger picture of human psychology and sociological influences in addition to the rehabilitative capacities of wrongdoers.

Good parents do not punish their children …

Morocco, Land of Ambiguity

The sun was pummeling me. On my shoulders and on the back of my skull. When Moroccans catch the sniffles, they say "The cold hit me." On this particular afternoon in Sidi Bennour, as I wandered from street to street, that bully Sol took no mercy, and as my fragile frame absorbed each blow, I could feel the scorn from the sun, the mocking and scorn, and not just from celestial bodies, but Arab bodies as well, from behind their piles of watermelon and cactus carts, straw hats and tooth-ish grins going "What is this white guy doing wandering around here in the middle of the afternoon?"

What I was doing was looking for a damned pair of socks. Eventually, I found a guy selling piles of used clothes. There appeared to be no order to the mess, so I just asked him if he sold any packages of socks. Hell, I didn't know. I've witnessed butchers selling toothbrushes on the side. Anyway, I might as well have asked the man if he had any poisonous snakes for sale. He could…