Three nights with a Host Family

To those of you at home, I’m not sure it’s possible to describe to you how much can go into four days.  To those PCVs stumbling across my blog, you already know.

I can’t do the whole time justice, so I’ll just give some timelines and highlights. We went to our CBT sites Sunday, coming back to our ‘hub’ site this morning.  When we got to our CBT sites, we were fetched by our host families and taken home, not to get back together with our group until the next morning.  Monday and Tuesday were spent in our CBT group from around 8am-6pm, and then today we came back from our sites, got typhoid shots, and talked about various subjects including our home stays, first aid, bike repair, and women’s day.

I’m also talking to people as I write this, so excuse jumbled sentences/trains of thought. I guarantee no continuity.

My host family is great. My host father is really interested in actively helping me learn Tamazight, and my host mother is very friendly and has no problem taking care of me the same way she takes care of her two year old.  I have a host sister who is five years and five months old, and a host brother who is two years old.

First night story: so my host mom determined I was incompetent at going to the bathroom when I went without getting a bucket of water from the drum first (there was water in tubs in the bathroom, how was I to know which was correct?). Anyhow, she decided to take over, so as I was about to head to bed she made me follow her as she showed me which bucket to grab and to get water from the drum, and then she basically delivered me to the bathroom to do my business.

Let me back up. In Morocco, the majority of toilets are turkish toilets. The majority of bit-lmas, or bathrooms, in rural Morocco do not contain toilet paper – instead, they have a tub of water and a little bucket, and you splash water onto your left hand from your right hand (the left hand does NOT enter the bucket) and clean yourself… well, in whatever way works. Rolling your pants up before nearing these things is a matter of necessity, and eating food from the communal dish with the right hand is more than quaint tradition. We were also warned about how Moroccan people try not to mention the bit-lma and are very discreet about it’s use… so having my host mom usher me in was a bit of a shock.

Anyhow, so there I am, doing my thing… and the electricity for the whole town goes out! I thought it was just the bathroom at first, so I was trying to figure out how to wash up and flush (by dumping the bucket down the turkish toilet) and get out of the bathroom with some dignity… and then I hear my host mom outside, and my name and “Bit-lma!” quite loudly and in quick repetition! Oh dear!

…. ok, I had way more stories, but now it’s Thursday and lunchtime. I’m about to head out for a few more weeks with my host family, and I’ve gotta eat! No time to finish this post well. Bslama!


3 responses to “Three nights with a Host Family

  1. Maggie,
    Good to read your post and I hear you telling it in your voice. I look forward to hearing more.

  2. Your bathroom story is hilarious. 🙂

  3. Maggie,
    Ha, ha….Murphy’s law. You have been initiated, it will be all up hill from here.

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