Friday, December 28, 2012

Ringing in an exciting new year

It's hard to believe that an entire year has come and gone! As we move towards 2013, I can't help but reflect upon the past year and think about how much has developed and changed. This time last year, Justin and I were new residents of Tiflet, knowing a handful of people, not sure about what we might plan or accomplish during our time in Morocco, and certainly very nervous about our new lives. Today, we have established strong relationships with people young and old in the community, we have developed some great programs, and we now look at each obstacle and challenge with confidence and readiness. And another big difference from last year - I haven't broken any bones!! 

In looking back on some of the goals that I set for myself at the end of last year, I wanted to call out a few for which I am particularly proud of my progress:

1. Take better care of myself
Coming out of a year in which I broke bones in both my hand and leg, I wanted to make sure that taking care of my health became a priority. And I am happy to say that I have made amazing strides. In November I had a mid-service physical check-up and the doctors reported that I am in great shape - not only that, but I have lost 44.5 pounds since I came to Morocco! This has come mainly from exercising regularly and eating lots of healthy vegetable-rich meals that we cook for ourselves.

2. Explore and travel 
If you've kept up with this blog, then you have seen lots of travel-related posts. I'm happy to have had the chance to see many of Morocco's beautiful places and in the coming year, I hope to visit many more! (Going up to Tanger for New Year's, my first time up north, stay tuned!)

3. Develop a support network
Over the last few months, I have begun to develop some truly strong friendships in our community. And with these friendships, I have been able to learn much more about Moroccan culture and to teach about American culture. Beyond the support network in our community, I have developed a strong support network of Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco and friends and family in the U.S. who have provided more love and strength than I could imagine. Please know that I am so very grateful for it! 
It's been a tough year, full of uncertainty, confusion, and disorder - but out of all this has come so much learning, beauty, and adventure - and I wouldn't trade that for anything. I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store!

From Justin and me, wishing you a year filled with learning, beauty, and adventure
I look forward to continuing to chart our journey in 2013!

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