The ceremony itself is one of the most exciting and nerve wracking things I've ever been through. Much worse than a job interview or a performance. I started out pretty calm, but as the flags and names were ticked off and still no Max, I got more and more anxious. So anxious, in fact, that the nice mother next to me shared some of her baby's star banana puffs to calm me down. My cold pizza stomach growled a little and she was generous enough to offer a nibble.
It was a strange feeling to see some of the flags come and go. There were a few places I had become convinced we were going and when someone elses name was called I felt a little bit like I'd been dumped.
"But I loved you Nepal. I researched you and watched discovery channel videos about your mountains. How could you abandon me like this? He'll never love you like I would have."
But still, the flags came and went. There are 92 people in Max's class and he was called at #90. I know, really. But I have to say the wait was WELL worth it. Casablanca was one of our top choices, but we didn't really think we had a shot. We kind of put it on the High list and forgot about it because, well, it's awesome. When Max turned around with his flag and walked back up the steps to his seat he had the biggest case of grinny winnys I'd ever seen. Like a wee boy. It was so great.
On a career level, this post is amazing for Max. It will fulfill a few entry level requirements he has to meet in his first or second tour, including an Arabic speaking post. In fact, because he already speaks Arabic they will teach him French! Here's a list of other awesome things about Morocco on more personal level:
- The temperature sits around 70 degrees YEAR ROUND with a low of 45 degrees in January and
a high of 80 degrees in August.
- Did I mention it's on the coast? Beachy McBeach.
- Mountains AND Deserts AND Forests AND Beaches.
- Clean, safe, abundance of produce available
(*relative to other Middle Eastern countries of course)
- Not as conservative or restrictive to women as other Middle Eastern countries.
Hello short sleeves!
- Travel. Not only is travel within Morocco amazing (with efficient trains and taxis) but it has also become a destination for several European budget airlines. We are talking $80 flights to London, Paris and Spain. Now that's rocking the Casbah - which I'm sure I'll say a lot from now on.
- Moroccan Leather! I've just started learning how to do leather bindings - I think we're headed to the right place.
- There is an AmidEast there - that's where I taught English in Jerusalem.
I have to stop because my head is spinning a little. We made it home from Flag Day sweaty, starving, and elated. I made up a little meat and cheese plate, as is want in circumstances of celebration, and we toasted our vanilla cokes to North Africa.
Another thing that I'll say now and often in the future. Friends: Visit us. I feel like Morocco will be such an accessible way to experience this region of the world and we would love to host you. So, don't be shy. We leave DC late May of 2011 and we will be in Morocco for two years. Our Casbah is your Casbah.
ps - Thanks for all the well wishing. You guys are great!