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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.

Mer-Z
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.

Ham-Z
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.
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