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5/29/2008 Project # 3

Every Peace Corps Volunteer has one or two “primary” projects that last over the course of months or years, but they are (we are!) also expected to do a number of “secondary” projects. Those are smaller, more finite projects that take less time and energy, but are tangibly useful to the people involved. My primary project is creating an environmental education curriculum for the schools in and around the Park. K**’s new project for me, the plant survey, may end up being an additional primary project. We’ll see how that develops. My secondary projects are likely to be things like tree plantings, Earth Day activities, setting up bee-keeping enterprises, etc.

Why do I bring all this up? A secondary project just fell into my lap.

An American NGO is bringing a group of high school students to Morocco this summer. They came last summer, and worked with the volunteers who were in Berberville then to arrange things like home stays and a walk down to the lake. But both of those volunteers have since finished their service and gone on. The Moroccan rep of this NGO just contacted “Fatima”, my site-mate, to see if they can repeat the trip this year. (How he got her contact info is an open question… But the point is, neither of us have done this before.) They plan to spend even more time here this year – probably because my mountain village is one of the coldest sites in the country, and they’re coming in late July when desert regions will be in the 120-140° range, and the major cities will be hovering around 100° - and they’re hoping to do community service projects while they’re here.

Community service projects.

As in, projects.

As in, stuff to help the community.

As in, the kind of things that I’m supposed to be doing for my secondary projects.

And they’re offering free manpower. (Teenpower, actually.)


Of course, now I need to figure out what to do with them… Ideas so far include a tree planting along the walk to the lake; a tree planting at the lake; a world map mural downtown or at the school; a pair of world map murals – one political and one ecological; and I’m still thinking of more. Thank goodness Fatima has been here 6 months longer than I have (which is to say, six months and two weeks!), so she’s actually integrated enough to be able to make our plans come to fruition. :D

By the way, if any of y’all have ways that 16 teenagers could help my village in a couple of days, I’d love to hear them. Hit the comment button below or shoot me an email. :)

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps