School let out. Classes stopped. Tests were taken. Students were tired of studying, and we were tired of teaching. Attendance at clubs and other activities had fizzled with test prep and test recovery. It was time for a Moroccan endless summer part 2.
June started with a Peace Corps training I participated in with someone we hoped we could work with. A few times a year, Peace Corps will offer opportunities for volunteers and people they work with in their communities to get trained in programs to meet organizational goals. A big part of being a volunteer is identifying and working with leaders in your community that can help you in current projects and carry them on when you leave. We call those in-country volunteers "counterparts." Many posts in other countries assign this person to you, but in Morocco, you are on your own. Finding this person is a sometimes tricky balance of potential, dependability, and compatibility. Thankfully, we have no shortage of awesome youth and young adults we've been able to work with. For this program and training however, I didn't make a smart or fully informed choice on who to work with, which was disappointing and stressful. The venue was beautiful though; the content was awesome, and the staff and participants were great. My partner and I couldn't get on the same page, and it was an extra lesson that I had to learn the hard way.
Also that week: I have been really digging this artist Stromae. We were able to sneak away from the training and see him perform in Rabat.
The summer really didn't start, however, until we had visitors come and a perfect couple of weeks being reminded again how cool Morocco is. Zach's sister and bro-in law came in via Spain; they let us show them our favorite places and travelled with us to places we'd been wanting to go. We always love being around them, but traveling together was even better. For Zach and me, being abroad for so long is a dissonant pull between exploration/newness and missing people/things. Having both at the same time when visitors come is our favorite. We took this route, avoiding the heat by staying in the mountains:
Here are some favorite moments: