Thursday, December 22, 2011


When it rains, it pours! A lot has happened over the past week. I’m happy to say that all of the things that I wanted to get accomplished within our first month or so in our site have now been ticked off of my list. You see these lovely things??

These are keys to our beautiful apartment!! A narrated photo tour can be found at the bottom of the post, but in short,it's better than anything I ever got living in Manhattan! :) As you’ll see in the photos, it’s mostly tile (which seems to be customary in most Moroccan homes) but the apartment is fairly new so the tile is beautiful and very bright. We are less than a 5 minute walk from our Youth Center where we’ll be spending most of our time, and the neighborhood is really nice – lots of very friendly neighbors, a preschool right across from us, beautiful trees, hedges, and flowers right around us, and several small bodega-type shops nearby (called hanuts, as I mentioned in a previous post) for any quick needs. When I joined the Peace Corps, I never expected to have some of the amenities that this apartment has (hot water, a bathtub, a western toilet, a lot of space) but it’s within our budget so I won’t complain! We will have to buy furniture but will probably do that bit by bit. 

Another big update is that we have a new volunteer who has joined us in Tiflet. She came from another site (it actually happens to be Moulay Yacoub, the site where Justin and I lived during our 2 months of training). We didn't get much notice on the addition but she is one of my favorite people from our training group, so I’m happy to have her company for the 2 years. We are still working out the kinks of how to work best together without being 3 Americans around each other all the time, but I’m confident that in time we’ll be able to figure out how best to each work within a pretty large town.

Also, Justin and I now have a Darija tutor! He is an English teacher at one of the local high schools so it’s a perfect match. We have already met with him twice and have been so relieved to get answers to many questions that have come up as we have been trying to learn on our own this past month. We’ll be meeting with him twice a week for the next year, so I hope in time to improve my language so that I can impress everyone when they come to visit – that means YOU!

And lastly, but equally as exciting as the other parts – Justin and I finally got a PO box! We were waiting until the apartment was secured as there are 2 post offices in town and we wanted to make sure we got a box at the one nearest to our apartment. Below is our address, so get out your quills, inkpots, and wax to start writing me some good old-fashioned letters!  

Justin and Lauren Bernstein
Boîte Postale No 739
15402 Tiflet Medina

You’ve made it through all of the updates (phew!). The biggest one will hopefully be coming one week from now because next Friday at 3:30 PM Morocco time (10:30 PM EST time) this friggin cast will be coming OFF and you might hear my sigh of relief across the ocean.

Without any further delay, here are apartment photos – enjoy!

The opening in the center is the entrance
to our apartment from a flight of stairs. To the
left is a bathroom and then the bedroom.
A sink just outside the bathroom, to the left of the entrance.
At the bottom left is a buta, a gas tank that we have to light
in order to heat up water.
The view of the apartment from the entrance. Bathroom/bedroom are on the right,
straight ahead is what Moroccans call a "salon" (basically a living room),
to the left is what will become a kitchen space.
Justin and the kitchen area (right now has a rug and pillows in it)
a view from one end of the salon
Looking back at Justin and the kitchen area from the salon
in the bedroom - an awesome dresser/shelf set into one full wall
Looking at Justin through a window in the bedroom
Onto the bathroom. We have a bathtub and shower with hot water.
Seems like a good amount of people in our town have hot water
but this is the first bathtub I have seen.
And we have a western toilet. I haven't talked much
on the blog about squatting toilets, we have gotten used to them
but I definitely would choose otherwise if given the option!
Turning out of the bathroom
Going up the steps
Ahhhh Moroccan sun in December! This is our beautiful roof.
Home to what I hope soon will be flower pots and herb gardens!
And also lots of drying laundry.
A quick view of our neighborhood from the roof!


  1. Thaala and I are definitely moving in! Glad to see you getting settled. We hope to skype you soon!

  2. Oh my, I am so glad you have found a home. Jesse meant it when he said we are moving in. There is enough space in that apartment for an NYU student sublet and a bowling alley! Wow. We miss you guys so much. Saving pennies to make our move in date happen faster. (o; Thaala

  3. YAAAAY Lopers come move in with us!!!! Or at least visit for a LONG time :)

  4. THIS IS SO ZWIN! I can't wait to come visit!

  5. Awesome place!! I was talking about you two with the Arabic teacher (from Morocco) at school today, but I couldn't remember where you guys were living. Now I can relay that it's Tiflet. Hope all's well, Happy New Year!!!

  6. thanks Squinn and Patricia!! Patricia, you guys should come visit us :) (you too Squinn but you are much closer than the U.S. right now)