Letter from Ministry of Tourism

Letter from Ministry of TourismMy counterpart1 recently showed me an official-looking document (notice the rubberstamp on it to signify it is "official") with my name on it, and proceeded to tell me it is from the Ministry of Tourism. Finding an official document with my name on it is interesting enough; but a document written in a language that I cannot read takes on a whole, new level of urgency to get it deciphered ... where is my decoder ring? Peace Corps provides a universal translator decoder ring to every Volunteer2.

According to the letter from the Ministry of Tourism, I am to draft a document proposing my "2006 plans" on what I expect to do with the cooperatives. This is a case of placing the cart before the horse. How am I supposed to figure out what I plan to do?!? Not only have I been at my site only since December '05, but I do not have the language skills or bigger community-picture to know what needs to be done. So, the next few weeks will be "interesting" as I figure out what goes into the "2006 plan". Personally, I think my counterpart should be doing this. But whatever. I'll whip up something shortly. Unlike many corporate proposals I've done in the past, I can actually write this one out by hand instead of a Powerpoint presentation!

Hanging out in RabatOn a non-work related, slightly-culture related excursion to Rabat last weekend to meet up with Peace Corps Volunteer SAJ3, we ran around Rabat buying bootleg DVD movies4, walking through the medina, looking for the the U.S. Embassy5 and lunching at Pizza Hut. Below are a few pictures of Tour Hassan and the mausoleum of the late King Mohammed V. I was surprised they allowed (and even encouraged us) to take pictures of the tomb. As SAJ's assigned site is in the South, I will rarely get to see her (or other Volunteers in the South) except on her occasional visits to Rabat for medical check-ups or administrative paperworks.
Tour Hassan in, Morocco
Tour Hassan in Rabat, Morocco
Tour Hassan Tomb in Rabat, Morocco

1. A counterpart is a community leader (usually, but not always, the president of the artisan cooperative) Peace Corps Volunteers in the Small Business Development sector work with. The term "counterpart" is a bit misleading, because (in talking with other Volunteers) the counterparts usually see themselves as our supervisor and take great pleasure reminding us that we need their permissions to do anything; I am (un)lucky that my counterpart lives in my site/town.
2. A universal translator is on my wish list.
3. Actual names have been changed/withheld for obvious reasons (re: safety/security).
4. I suppose I was shopping for therapy, as I spent half my living allowance for March on DVD movies. Having to extend homestay this long is stressful.
5. We were actually looking for the American Club, a membership-only restaurant for American citizens; instead we found various embassies including Peru, France and People's Republic of China.

tags: ..
another point of view ...

Blogger cory


at least you got a letter. i got a text message asking for the same thing...

your pictures are amazing, as usual.

be well,

Blogger Nam LaMore

hey cory - i'm swiya jealous that your counterpart seeks you out, even if it's only by texting. mine does not go looking for me, i often have to wait for hours at the artisana for him; when i get bored, i go wait at his favorite cafe where i can always find him sometime throughout the day!

Blogger Jonh Neo

Great Work!!!
this is a good link you can refer Art Collection

speak up!

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