It was bittersweet to leave Morocco, but we just hope we did more good than bad. We worked very hard to build capacity and promote sustainable projects in our community. One way we did this was by encouraging and empowering youth in our community to teach classes at the Dar Chebab. We had probably 20 counterparts teaching various classes at the Dar Chebab. Almost no classes were taught by us, we just helped manage the programs behind the scenes. For us, the fewer people that knew what we “did” the better; that means that people wouldn’t think foreigners are essential for community development. It’s not a goal of Peace Corps to be indispensable to the community, we wanted to be able to help to the point that we aren’t needed. And, we feel that we did that. The Dar Chebab is now so busy with their own programs that we struggled to get classrooms to run ours; and even when we did get those classrooms, we mainly stayed in the back of the room while our counterparts did everything in the front of the classroom. We emphasized activities that engaged the classroom and made learning fun; we emphasized trying new things and figuring things out on their own when they didn’t make sense. Hopefully we made a difference. At the very least, we had a great time doing it and made some lifelong friends in the process. One of our counterparts even ended up getting a job with Peace Corps, something I’m very proud of her for and something she worked very hard for. So we left on that bittersweet note.
After a few weeks of rest and relaxation in Colorado and camping and hiking in Wyoming, we realized we weren’t quite ready to stop traveling and volunteering – so we decided to keep the spirit going. Tomorrow, we will be headed to Southeast Asia again for a few months; but this time, we will be volunteering along the way. While we will be looking for opportunities while we are there, by word of mouth, we also have a few gigs lined up ahead of time – a month in Hanoi teaching English and life skills for underprivileged Vietnamese youth and a month in a national park in southern Cambodia. We are super excited for this next last adventure before we settle down, get those “real” jobs, maybe a washing machine, and be at home with our friends and family.