Tuesday, March 6, 2018

24

Another year had passed, I'm 24 years old now. I was thinking about where I was last year around this time when I wrote the 23 post, I was living in a room just like where I'm living now, in a village just like the one where I am now and still a teacher a stressed out one that what ever she does still feels like she needs to be a better one, so it feels like nothing had changed, but certainly there is a lot of things that happened, that'll make sure to note in this post so I don't forget that when i was 23 I met some incredible people and did some things good or bad that made me grow:

February 2017:
I was living at a room in this village called "TANRAT", it was my first month working as a teacher, the room was kind of empty and everything was on the ground, but I grew to like it, it was My room I never had one before, it was a dream coming true, living alone cooking for myself. I was stressing out a bit because of all the people I had to know, all the names I had to remember.   





I don't remember what was this huge smile for!

March 2017:
This month was awfull, I was suffering with class management, my students which were 6 graders and were way older than to be in that grade, some were 16 and even 17 years old, were really disrespecting me, and like anyone new at a job I asked for help, and my principle did what he thought was the best to help me, he beat and helled at them, in front of me, I felt so bad that I decided that I had to deal with my students by myself, and it was hard, I was trying different techniques, all I could find on the internet I tried, and things were getting better I was gaining some of my students respect, and during all this I had friends that were there anytime I needed someone to talk with and that conforted me a lot. 

My students really liked drawing

Thinking about what I did to deserve this
Flowers that my students gave me

April 2017: 
I went back home for the spring break, two month without seeing mom felt like eternity, me who complain about her all the time I missed her so much. back to school I discovered that I'll be moving to teach in another village, since I was not experienced enough to teach in the school where I was, I felt so angry that no one cared about the kids who had to change the teacher for the third time, or about the improvement I was making with them. 
By mid april I was in a new village "Zaouit" living with a women and her kid, I wished I was living on my own but I didn't have a choice, in my new house some days were better then others.



The house were I was living was old and big with an open roof, it had all kinds of insects plus a turtle, chicken, cats and my favourites rats.  


May 2017:
life was good, I was working hard to be a better teacher, I went home whenever I had the chance too, and something really awsome happened during this month, I met one of my dearest friends now, Liz a peace corps volunteer from the USA, we had so much in common, we talked a lot and we still do. we agreed to start a girls empowerment club in the village, and during May we had our first meeting with the girls.






June 2017: 
This month was hell, Ramadan started, and the erea where my village is, is really famous for it's hot weather, it was HELL, I had never expienced anything like that, plus with fasting it was impossible, I had no energy to teach or do anything else, I was relived when school ended.


July 2017:
The first half of this month was fun, I went to Rabat the capitel for the first time, met some really awsome people, I visited my sister in Mohammadia where she lives, and spent a day in Casablanca where I met some of my friends after two years of not seeing them. the last two weeks of july were boring I went back home and started studying from an exam I had in the beginning of august.

At the the contemporary art museum



August 2017:
I had to go back to TATA for my exam, it was so hot there that I coudn't sleep nor eat, it just made remember how lucky I am to be living in Agadir were the weather is always nice.
I did good in my exam, but I coudn't be that happy about it, I expirenced during the time I was in TATA my first heartbreak and it was awfull, is there worst than one sided love? ... yes there is: famine, climate change and the heat in Tata, so I knew I'll survive. 


At my cousin's wedding

September 2017:
This month was the beginning of a new adventure, since life gave me a two months break, I was sent me and a bench of other teachers to teach in a new region, far from Tata, we were happy since IDA OUTANANE our new region, was closer to our family houses us who came from Agadir. we were happy until they told us about the villages where we were assigned to go, some of us were more lucky than the others, as for me I was part of the unlucky ones, my village had no road and no market. donkeys became my favorites animals, but still my experience in here is so interesting, I live with two nice teachers we face together the hardships of living in here with mostly a smile on our face.



October 2017: 

We were getting used to the life in Tazarin, I was teaching two grades at the same time, since there was only, three of us and six grades to teach. it was hard and it is still hard but I love my students here and I'm doing my best. During october we celebrated the International day of the girl with our students, we sang, played, draw, made friendship bracelets and also had a deep conversation about girl's education.




November 2017:

Life in the village was the same, between our room and the classrooms, trying to make it work with what I have. I trully wanted to give everthing I can to those kids and one of those things was to create a library for them. a friend with whom I used to talk a lot about the conditions in my village wanted to help me, and during his vistit to Agadir he got me some books to start the library, I was so happy about the books, and so grateful that he cared.




December 2017:

December was really beautifull in Tazarin, it wasn't yet cold and the outside was so beautifull, I was reading The Forty Rules of Love by ELIF SHAFAK which was so good, and we also got the chance to go home a lot.







January 2018:

January was awsome in every possible way well there were some few incidents but I'll act like they didn't happen, so first there was the Amazigh new year that we celebrated with the people of the village, then the visite of an association to our school which so fun and finally my visit to Zaouit where I visited my friend Liz and organized the GLOW camp.





so that was my year, I do feel old with everything that happened it, who knows where life will take me this year!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Houria GLOW Camp


I had been patiently waiting for this break, planning for it for two months now, when my friends ask me where I’m going to spend the two weeks break they start laughing when I say that I’m going back to AKKA, that hellish village in the south where they know I spent some really bad times last year. and where there isn’t much to see or do. but for me that place is more than that it’s the place where my amazing friend lives, she is a volunteer there.
We planned to start a GLOW Club last year in the village, where we would do activities once a week. we had our first meeting with the girls back in June we promised that we will have more meetings by the start of the new school year,  but since I moved to another village we weren’t able to have the club, and I felt really bad that I couldn’t keep my promise. This break felt like the only opportunity I have to do even a little something to compensate for the girls, so instead of a GLOW Club we decided that during this break for three days we are going to have a GLOW Camp.


GLOW stands for Girls Leading Our World, I had never heard about this term before but I really liked the idea of it, a GLOW camp or a  GLOW club is a place where girls learn, have fun and share their thoughts, especially that in those villages girls are either in school if they go to one or in their houses cleaning, cooking and watching Turkish TV series.
Our three days GLOW Camp had the objective of Inspiring girls to recommit to their passions, talk about gender norms in Morocco, and feel comfortable enough to learn about their bodies and health. Each day was filled with activities that we tried as much as we can to make fun, first day was about Setting Goals, second day was about Challenging Gender Norms, and the last was about Health.


first we planned that we will have 20 participant in the camp, my friend visited each girl’s house to make sure that they will show up during the days of the camp, but only three were there at time in the morning of the first day, and we had to knock on the girls doors again trying to convince the moms to let their girls participate in the camp, we were glad that in the end we had 15 girls, that I think was the hardest thing we had to face during the camp.

I’m happy that this camp did see the light after all, it wasn’t easy to convince my family to go back to AKKA, they couldn’t see why it was important for me to go there, I felt like suffocating trying to convince them, I hate that they have all this power over my life, me going there at some point lost all its meaning, why would I go there talk to girls about freedom and dreams when I myself at this age still ask permission of my parents to do anything, my every move should be approved. I felt bad during the days of the camp, I couldn’t stop my brain from thinking about this over and over again but I tried to keep a smile on my face and did my best so the girls learn something and enjoy their break because they deserve that.

    

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Adulting

On the road to my village, we just left Awrir, its surrounding is so beautiful, it's Sunday so people are out with their families, soon we'll reach places were you wouldn't think people still live. I'm not dizzy yet, I still can write those words and listen to the old music on my phone that I forgot again to update.

I'm back from a break which was amazing, when I think about all the things I did and the people I met I can't really complain that it went by so fast, it was just as long as it should be, I rested enough to go back motivated to teach my kids and learn from them.










But, there should be always a but, home felt sad and cold, there is something that happened to my family when all of us the kids grow up and got jobs, it's like if we shifted from anger or happiness to sadness and silence. My relationship with my family wasn't always easy, I had my fair share of hardship with mom, dad and my brother, but now it is all different, different that I don't know how to deal with it or how to define it, I feel that especially with my parents, they seem happy for me but also tired, happy because I'm follwing the plan, they worked hard for that that's why they are tired, I can't talk around them what if I say something or do something not following the plan?
I guess that all of this is normal, we ended a chapter as a family, and there is silence waiting for the start of the new chapter and mostly the new chapter includes us the kids getting married and founding families, for some reason I don't like this, those chapters, isn't it enough that we only have few years on this planet why divide them to chapters and call it this is how things are, this is not only sad but extremely boring and some other adjective that I can't think of right now.





Friday, October 6, 2017

The same stupid conversation


I work, why do I need to justify why I'm working, like are you that conserned about my well being? cause if you really are you would know that me staying home where I'm sound and safe like you claim would drive me nuts. I know I'm living in bad conditions but it's my job, it's up to me and only me to accept those conditions or not. I had one of those conversations with another person yesturday, the same stupid conversation about manhood and womanhood and what's right and wrong what's my role in this life because I'm a girl, and as always the conversation ended by him asking me if I was muslim and that me reading so much books is no good.
I don't blame anyone having those opnions , whenever someone visit me here in this village where I work now, it seems so natural to start this conversation, like why a girl would accept this?

I work as a teacher in a village away by 7km from the road where rarely you can find transpotations if you miss the ones in the morning; I live in a tiny housse with 2 other teachers, the three of us in one room, first we had no water but the people in the village were nice enough to find a solution; they were afraid that we will run away from here like another teacher did, before us they had two other teachers who would teach their kids near to nothing, they stayed here two to three days every week, life is hard here even to them who were men.

People here are nice, not only because they want us to teach their kids which is not some kind of charty we are doing it is our job but because they are nice and generous by nature.
It's hard living here I won't lie, sometimes I get so upset that I spend most of my day sleeping, but I grow to like it, its people, nature around us plus there is internet, and I got attached to my kids I'm doing my best to be a good teacher they didn't choose to be born here and they deserve education like any other kid in this world. 



My space in the room, I have a wall better use it




the source were we bring water 2km from the village

my salma


peopel send us food all the time what can we ask for more



I accepted this job because it's making me grow, it's making me a better person, trying to explain this to someone who thinks that woman's place is her housse near her parents or husband and kids is not something I would like to go through again but I still do it maybe someone will understand or at least know that we exist and we can take full responsability for our decisions right or wrong.