Okay, okay, so this announcement isn't really all that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, but it is a big deal in the world of VFN.
I was granted a Fulbright Teaching Exchange in Morocco. I will be spending six weeks in Tahanaoute, Morocco, 20 kilometers south of Marrakech. I will be team teaching in a high school English classroom.
For those of you who need help locating Morocco (don't feel bad, you probably just had bad social studies teachers), I have conveniently provided this satellite image thanks to Google Maps (Hey Google! You rock!). The little pinkish bubble with the letter "A" marks the location of the town where I will be staying.
This image shows Tahanaoute relative to the rest of Morocco.
This is as close a look at Tahanoute as your going to get until I get there. Notice that Tahanoute is at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains.
I am working feverishly to get ready. The above picture shows the reading material I've been working through (please excuse my dreadful appearance. Our heater isn't working. That fact is made even more traumatic by the recent weather. I've spent the last eighteen hours wrapped up in multiple layers of clothing and cocooned in my down comforter. I haven't felt my toes and nose for hours (Hi Mom! I generally brush my hair every day! I promise!)). The books on the left are the ones I've already read. The books on the right are the ones I still need to read.
It appears that I only have four books left. That is woefully misleading. There are about three books that you can't see in the picture because the little blue book is blocking them. Turns out it's kind of hard to hold lots of books upright with one hand.
These are the books I am currently reading. I had hoped to be able to hold all of my Morocco books in the same picture, but I'm too uncoordinated (and cold). (VFN would like to sincerely thank our backup photographer Steve for taking the time out of his busy Saturday to take the above pictures. Your willingness to pause old episodes of Stargate on behalf of this blog with only minimal grumbling is truly inspiring.)
In a pale and feeble imitation of American Dresdner's hilarious and witty interviews, I present the first VFN exclusive interview:
View From the North: Why Morocco?
Angela Busch Alston: Because it's so different from Shishmaref.
VFN: Aren't most places on earth different from Shishmaref?
ABA: Well, yeah, but Morocco is super different from Shishmaref.
VFN: Super different? Wow. What an outstanding command of the English language you have. You'll be a great teacher.
ABA: (Fidgets uncomfortably)
VFN: So, is Steve going with you?
ABA: No, Steve will be staying in Shishmaref.
VFN: How long will you be gone?
ABA: Um, six weeks.
VFN: Weren't you already apart from Steve six weeks this summer?
ABA: Um, yes.
VFN: So, do you guys still like each other or what?
ABA: Actually, Steve is my most favoritest person in the universe, thank you for asking.
VFN: You just happen to be spending significant amounts of time on a different continent than your husband?
VFN: I see. How come Steve is staying in Shishmaref?
ABA: It's hard enough to find one long-term sub. We didn't want the school to have to find two.
VFN: What is Steve going to do with himself while you are away?
ABA: Probably watch movies and eat lots of Chili Mac.
VFN: Does this concern you.
ABA: Nah. He did it for seven years before we got married, and he survived.
VFN: When do you leave?
ABA: October 27th.
VFN: Are you ready?
ABA: Not even close. I still have to finish my lesson plans for my substitute, pack, collect all of the materials I want to take to Morocco, order Christmas presents and cards...
VFN: Wait, order Christmas presents and cards?
ABA: Well, let's just say certain members of the Alston household are less than reliable about selecting and ordering gifts in time for important holidays. If it doesn't happen before I leave, it probably won't happen at all.
VFN: What will happen to your blogging while you're traipsing around Northern Africa?
ABA: I'm going to start a Morocco-experiences only blog so that my students can follow all of my adventures.
VFN: Will you keep VFN readers posted of the new blog address.
If you having any follow-up questions to submit to VFN, leave them in the comments. I think I'm going to go read another book about Morocco.