My sitemate Lucia and I went to Marrakesh on Tuesday, because I now live a life where I make day trips to Marrakesh. (My life is awesome!) We visited the American Language Center to check out what resources they have, then ate lunch at Pizza Hut and wandered around the high end shops in the Ville Nouvelle, looking at shoes that cost more than my monthly rent. Before we headed back to Kalaa, we walked over to Jemaa el-Fnaa to take a look at the hotel I ate at on my last trip to Marrakesh.
It was beautiful. The building was covered in tiles and carved wood. There were saqiya (public fountains) along the walls and in the courtyard was a pool surrounded by palm trees and lounge chairs, open to the bright blue sky and overlooked by a traditional mashrabiya (wooden lattice screened balcony). Up on the roof, we walked past a second pool and started out at the nearby Koutoubia Mosque glowing in the sunlight and the snow capped Atlas Mountains in the distance.
It was posh and swanky and other words not normally associate with the Peace Corps, and as I was standing on the roof, listening to French children splash in the pool, I thought You know self, you haven’t bathed in a week. Your hair is basically one giant grease slick AND, what more, you don’t even care anymore. The bathrooms at the hotel were covered in rose petals. My bathroom at site has a hole, two spots for my feet, a faucet, a bucket and that giant cockroach I murderated that morning.
I’m not complaining, not really. I have electricity and running water that works at least 90% of the time and I usually have Internet in my house. Even the cockroach wasn’t that bad. At least I was wearing pants when I saw him. I was expecting a lot more hardships when I joined the Peace Corps and I love my site and my home. But that’s the thing about Posh Corps: it’s less about your amenities at site and more about the amenities you have in your country. There are some very nice, very westernized places in Morocco that an easy day trip from my home, and I keep showing up there unwashed.