Saturday, October 11, 2008

VFN's Big Announcement

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.

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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.

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This image shows Tahanaoute relative to the rest of Morocco.

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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?

ABA: Exactly.

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.

ABA: Absolutely.

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.


Breezi said...

YAY for Morocco! What an awesome experience to have! Hope you and Steve can live without each other. (It's almost like forbidden love! hhaha)

tonksfam said...

Woooooooooooooow...ummm, yeah. That's about as eloquent as I can get on that subject. Wow.

Dorese said...

HOLY HANNAH! October 27th?!? Like, so soon and stuff? I was thinking this would be sometime, you know, next June or something. Ha! You are amazing, Angie! Major congratulations on the Fulbright exchange. I hope you have an absolute blast and can't wait to see all the pictures! Oh yeah, and tell Steve Mark feels (a very teeny tiny fraction) of his pain. Maybe. Mark hates to be left. One week in November so I can see my family this year? Too long. Congrats again and good luck!

Ben and Missy said...

Wow! That is going to be so cool! I am excited to see what it is like over there. Take lots of pictures:)

The Hoogland Family said...

Congrats on the awesome opportunity! Keep us all posted! Oh and by the way, we sang How Firm a Foundation today at church and I proudly announced that this is also in the Lutheran hymn book.

JEM said...

Holy crap, Angie. You are totally nuts. I can't wait to read all about it and see all your fabulous pics. We'll certainly keep Steve in our prayers.

nick in elim said...

Thats super cool, they have some of the best runners in the WORLD, how lucky you are. Enjoy your experience that is totally AWESOME, and will you still be updating VFN or will those duties be left up to STEVE? I am just trying to figure out if I have t add a blog to my daily schedule for checking or if I can substitue your new one for VFN?

Mrs. Black said...

I envy your spirit of adventure and world-travelism. Lucky duck. They better have good internet in Morocco so you can keep us posted!

mackey family said...

I'm so excited for this next adventure, I can't wait to hear about it! Did you get to choose Morocco, or is that where they pick? And I quite enjoyed the interview, I hope Steve survives without you. Tell him he needs to through in some Progresso soup for a little variety there! And I'm so sorry you're freezing up there...we live in two totally different climates! I'm sweating while you're freezing!

Missy Grossman said...

Wowie Wow Wow!!!! That is awesome!!

Missy Grossman said...

I was telling James about your upcoming adventure and had a great idea. My good friend Christopher spent a semester or so in Morocco this past year. His email address is:

I'm sure he'd love to tell you all about it.

Elizabeth J. said...

What an exciting opportunity! You are such the "world" traveler. Can't wait to be updated on your newest adventure!