Jan 2006 - May 2007
Most of you know this story… So here’s a very brief recap. On New Year’s Day 2006 I got a call from my friend Denise who had recently moved from Ireland to Morocco. The tiny start up school that she was working for was losing one of two teachers. On January 24, 2006, I arrived in Agadir, Morocco to teach for the spring semester. It was a one-room type setup with seven students aged 3 – 6 years. I usually get really involved in projects, and this was no exception. By the time the end of the semester rolled around in June 2006, I had decided to return for the 06-07 school year. Perhaps my involvement with Hassan helped make that decision.
So, I went home for 3 weeks in the summer of 06, and I returned to Agadir to teach the massive 1st grade class… 3 students. Our overall enrollment had grown from 7 to 11, and we had 2 preschool students and a kindergarten class of 6. The proprietor of the school, Moulay Said, was the director of the Moroccan private school which housed our operation. As his trust in us grew, he was more and more hands off. He would wander downstairs once a week or so and ask us what we needed. That left us, Denise and me, to manage and operate our little school. We began the process for accreditation, we wrote promotional material, we visited the governor of the city and spoke with personnel from the US embassy on behalf of the school. I remember the most challenging aspect being our daily dealings with the parents of our 11 students. One was very down to earth, a few were always late, one drank too much, a couple were vicious gossips, one was an elderly single dad, and one…. oh, that one… very opinionated, very prejudiced, very controlling, very concerned father. I thought he was going to drive me to drink before my experience with him was finished. I wish I had kept a record of my dealings with him. There’s no way I could piece it all together at this point and convey the real madness of it.
I just can't count the times he said something that left me staring at him in bewilderment... blink... blinkblink.