Saturday, March 3, 2012

Back on American Soil

Well... sort of. These are the U.S. and Morocco flags flying at the U.S. Embassy in Rabat (technically American soil!), where Justin and I spent a few hours last weekend waiting to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton was traveling through Morocco on business in several North African countries (chiefly Tunisia) to lend support to democratic movements there. We were fortunate that she left time in her schedule for a Meet & Greet in Rabat, and that her people opened up space to Peace Corps volunteers (and living only 45 minutes from Rabat, we jumped at the invitation!).

Keeping myself busy, taking photos around the Embassy while awaiting Clinton's arrival:


After lots of time prepping for her arrival and arranging children for a photo, the moment finally came!


Clinton spoke for just a few minutes, namely praising American support in Morocco and thanking us for our contributions (a few shout-outs to the Peace Corps - you can listen to a short clip here, posted by a fellow volunteer).

After speaking, Clinton posed for a photo with Embassy, Peace Corps, and other local children, and then made her way through the crowd to say hellos. I efficiently positioned myself right next to the mass of children, so I was in a perfect position for her to cross right over from the kids and SHAKE MY HAND!

The above is just after she shook my hand. I don't have a photo of it but am awaiting photos from the Embassy, so we'll see if they got it. So very exciting, a quick brush with an amazingly powerful and smart woman. It was also interesting to feel like a part of Morocco's ex-pat crowd, a whole group of people just like me, trying to learn the in's and out's of a new culture and way of life. I'm so grateful for this and many other experiences that I have been fortunate to have in only 6 months here!

Here are a few photos goofing off after Clinton left:


And just outside the Embassy, Justin and I discovered "Rue de Tiflet" (the name of our town!):


In other news... I have a busy month ahead - Launching a website for Peace Corps Morocco's Gender and Development Committee, planning my first program outside of English classes, and a trip to Marrakech with Justin to play tourists. Lots more on these soon!

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