Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Did I really see/hear/read that correctly?!?!?

Two posts in one week? It just might happen. This one is more a random compilation of  random stuff. There are so many things that happen here on a daily basis where you just have to smile and think "You know you are NOT in the U.S. anymore when...".  These are just SOME of those moments off the top of my head.

*There is a beauty salon here called "Le Clap". Where one wonders if they can get a haircut and an STD all at the same time?

*Several weeks ago, I was walking to the gym to work out. I came around the corner and saw an older woman, two younger children, and a pile of papers, old notebooks, binders, etc. I also saw that she saw stuffing said papers into an opening in the side of a concrete building. Inside this opening of the building was a raging fire. Black smoke billowed out from this 'burn hole'? (kind of like the 'burn barrels' back home I guess?), as she continued to shove papers in and the kids continued to dance around and watch her. When I came out of the gym some 45 min. to an hour later, this was still going on. And it was not a pleasant smell either.

*Driving around Casablanca, you see many, many strange things. So many of which I wished I had a camera for...but they happen so fast, pictures are nearly impossible. And, we are usually so shocked about what we are seeing, that we don't react quickly enough to take pictures. Many of these 'shocking' events are accomplished at the hands of mopeds/scooters/motor bikes. A family of 5 riding on a moped with only the driver wearing any kind of helmet? Absolutely. 2 men on a motorbike carrying a lawnmower? Sure!  And a few weeks ago, I saw 2 guys on a moped driving away from me, and off to the right I could see 4 legs. They both had a right arm wrapped around the body of a sheep or some sort of 4-legged animal, driving down the Casablanca streets.

*Speaking of sheep... There is a major muslim holiday coming up, which is the Eid al-Adha. It is a time when families sacrifice a sheep and then feast on it. It is a big family tradition thing. Anyway, as the Eid approaches, you start to see billboards pop up. Most of which show 'happy sheep', as if they are feeling good about their upcoming role in this bloodbath. I guess when they first slit the throat and kill the sheep, they also then 'blow up' the sheep to loosen the skin? Or something like that. Well, there's a billboard out right now showing a guy blowing on a sheep's leg, inflating the sheep so it looks like a sheep balloon. It's pretty funny. I'll try my best to snap a picture, but no guarantees.

*Head lice has been running a bit rampant in the Lower School this year so far. Yes, gross. I have had one case, but it was caught over a weekend and treated, and we've had no other issues. But today, they brought in an outside nurse to help do head checks. And this is what I saw... A nurse.  With NO GLOVES and no 'stick' to prod through the kids' hair. She just got in there with her fingertips. Head after head, with no hand-washing in-between. I had to stop looking. All I could think about is how shocked my teacher friends in the states would have been as well.

*I had recess duty today for 3-5th grade. A little boy (3rd grade)came up to me and said "Miss! I need help!" I looked down at him and he was pointing to his shoe. A perfectly good shoe, with its shoelace untied. I asked him what he needed help with and he said "I can't tie." To which I said "Aren't you in 3rd grade? And you can't tie your shoe?" (Yes, I was THAT teacher taking a stab at his self esteem. But seriously...don't you learn to tie shoes in Kindergarten?) He said "No, my Mom ties for me." To which I replied, "Well, then you need to learn!" So I kneeled down and showed him my method that my parents taught me. (NOT the double bunny ears...because I hate that method. Those are the kids whose shoes are always untied, I swear.) I did one for him, walking him through the steps. Then I had him practice one time, and he did pretty well. So, he ran off to play. A little bit later during recess, he came running up to me - "MISS! I tied my other shoe!!" I gave him a high-five as he grinned from ear to ear and ran off to play again.

*They are putting up some type of  structure for people to park bikes under at our school. Yesterday, during dismissal time when there are hundreds of kids running around, there was a man welding. Just sitting on top of this structure, with no mask or goggles, with sparks flying down below where kids are crossing, within a couple of feet. No one even blinked an eye (other than us, of course).

There are so many more cultural stories to tell. I love being a part of it all. I've gotten so acclimated, that I just kind of take everything in stride. But, I realize that most of you probably enjoy reading about these types of things. I'll do my best to keep feeding you culture, a little bit at a time.

Here is a random photo, taken this summer as we came back to Casablanca from Europe. You know you're back in Morocco when....

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