We joke and we kid, but it’s true here in Morocco and probably across the Peace Corps board: There are two things that must happen at least once to every volunteer in order for him/her to have truly experienced PC Morocco.
1) You have to crap your pants.
I think I’ve written a lot about my GI issues in the beginning of my service. Alhumdullah, I haven’t had anymore serious bouts in well over a year, so we can move on.
2) You have to have gotten thrown up on.
I shouldn’t generalize, but I will for a moment: Moroccans are notorious for how easily they become motion sick. For a country that probably has more unpaved S-curve ladened roads, than nicely paved roads, you would think that the people would have stomachs of steel, but a lot of them do not.
I’m not sure what the fine print is specifically on real Peace Corps rule #2, but I had my backpack thrown up on once (culprit unknown) and I hoped and prayed that that was the last time I’d have to clean up someone else’s puke from off of my property.
Welllllll, I’m sure by now you know where this post is headed. I wish I had a picture to accompany the following but that would have been rude of me to take it, and anyway I’m sure you’re thinking how thankful you are that you’ve been spared a sickening sight. I still have two more months left here though, so don’t exhale just yet. Bwahahaha!
Anyway, so today I’m coming back from basketball camp in Agdz, which is a small town about an hour south of me on the road to Zagora. I’m sitting behind the driver, and this is in a grand taxi so as usual there are two men sitting in the passenger seat up front, and 2.5 males sitting next to me in the back seat. I say 2.5 because one was my friend Karsten who was seated directly next to me, and next to him was a young boy maybe 12 years old or so, and his father seated next to the other window.
As we pull out of the city, Karsten and I finish up our lunch, sandwich and fries. I notice Karsten sharing the end of his fries with the kid sitting next to him. “Aww, so cute!” I think to myself. So we’re going along, we’re going along and the road becomes windier, and windier. I’m lost in thought listening to Van Morrison’s Moondance album, and staring out of the window at the mountainous terrain we’re speeding by. Next thing I know, I see Karsten looking over at the other window, where the little Moroccan boy is splayed across his dad’s lap with his upper torso out the window, his head supported by hands cupping either side of his face.
My first thought was “Oh, how cute; he’s enjoying the warm air and scenery too!” Then I spied, what looked like dirty water droplets on the lower right portion of the window. “Hmm, I wonder where that water came from?” I thought. “Weird.” And then the father starts repositioning his legs so that the son can occupy the position next to the window instead of being spread out across his father’s lap. And then Karsten turns to me and smiles briefly and knowingly to still-completely-oblivious-me and quickly puts his head down between his legs.
"What the heck is he doing?" I thought to myself, as I stared down curiously at my friend. And then it hit me! I looked over at the window and took note of the kid’s position: head in hands, tilted downward, and a quarter of his body hanging outside of the window… Oh, yeah! That kid is puking!
But oh oh oh! Woe as me! The slow one, with the even slower reaction. As I’m realizing what’s going on, the kid lets it rip, and the fries and whatever else he’d just eaten came spewing out like Vesuvius. And me, the poor unsuspecting Pompeii, got a nice light sprinkle of everything on the right side of my upper face as it caught in the stream of air circulating from the window through the car.
Now, to be fair, it wasn’t a lot of puke, but it was still puke—someone else’s puke— that was on my face. And it was still repulsive. At that point though, there was really nothing to be done except to wipe it off, and take cover just to be safe. And that’s what I did. I kept my head down, for almost the entire rest of that taxi ride.
Uhhhh…only 62 more days to go in country…