Last week was Mid-Service Training for my group of PCVs. We all got together for a “training”, which was really mostly just talking about how we’re feeling right now. I honestly didn’t have high hopes for it, but I left feeling really… positive, which surprised me. That’s not to say that I never feel positive here – I do – but it’s just usually related to hanging out with friends, or to a specific trip we took. I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve felt generally positive about living, traveling, AND working in Morocco looking forward.
Our training was nice for a bunch of reasons. One, it was nice to have a couple medical appointments and hear that I’m healthy (no cavities! Yeah!). Two, it was great to get tested again for my language level and learn that I’ve improved three levels (I can’t even explain how validating and awesome this made me feel). Three, Rabat has some delicious restaurants, and I spent way too much money drinking with friends and eating Chinese, real pizza and real salad at a German restaurant, and a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings and a real Sam Adams beer at an American restaurant (I know this sounds like some crap you can get anywhere in America but seriously you can’t get it here and it was So. Good.). And four, it was seriously fantastic to hang out with my good friends from training who I basically never get to see, as well as with other friends I’ve been slowly getting to know over the year. I actually got to stay in Rabat for a whole week, since my medical appointments were a couple days after our training ended, and it was a great break for my mental health.
In addition to the training, I’ve also been feeling more positive lately after meeting a couple new Moroccan friends who are interested in helping me do projects here in Azilal. Since I haven’t pulled off any big projects to my satisfaction yet, I’m hoping with the help of my friends that I can do it this year. I didn’t see it coming, but right now I have a lot more hope for my final year than I had a couple months ago. We’re kind of in a transition period right now (more about that in a few weeks), and I know that once it passes a lot of the excitement will be gone and I probably won’t be feeling as positive or hopeful. But one thing I talked about with some of my friends at training was the importance of being hopeful, even when you know, inevitably, that things are going to go wrong somehow (this probably sounds kind of pessimistic, but really it’s just a fact). So I’m going to enjoy the positivity while it lasts, and hopefully I’ll actually come up with a project or two to show for it.