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Decisions, decisions, decisions

In November, our family came to the realization that living in Morocco wasn’t working out for us and we were ready for the next move.  Of course that meant we had to know what the next move was.  Hmmmm………………

We bounced around a ton, and I do mean a ton, of possibilities.  We looked into the possibility of a foreign hire position in another country, thought about going back to the United States, thought about moving to another city in Morocco.  There were a lot of discussions and “discussions” and lists, and decisions, and then changing our decisions!  Let’s just say it’s been a long, complicated process.

In January, we thought we had it figured out, and we had a piece – we were going back to the United States.  At that point, we thought we were going to Oregon to settle down for awhile.  However, we soon realized that all of Raki’s school work had been done with the premise of getting a teacher’s certification from GA, so if he was to student teach in the US, then he had to student teach in GA. 

This opened up a ton of new decisions to make.  Student teaching is only one semester long – from August – December.  Should Raki go to GA while the boys and I were in OR?  Should we all go to GA for a school year?  And there were more things to consider:

– Where would the boys go to school?  How would we maintain the base in Arabic and French they have built over the last 3 years?  Will they have time to do this work after school?  Will they miss out on friends or activities, or begin to dislike Arabic and French if it is something “extra”?

– Would I be able to get a job?  The job market for teachers is tough right now.  If I do get a job, do I want to be public or private?  Where do I want to teach?  Where will I be able to find a job?

– Then again, did I want to get a job?  I am currently struggling to balance teaching, my teacher resource business and being a mom and wife.  What if I decided to stay at home and just focus on my business?  Can we afford that? 

– What would we do after Raki was done with student teaching?  Did we want to stay in GA?  Go to OR?  Try for an international position?

Another thing to consider became health issues.  I have recently had my second hernia surgery this school year.  My doctor is on me to exercise daily, and while I have added in ab exercise most mornings, there has been little to no time to add in the bicycling and swimming he wants me doing in order to prevent further hernias.  In addition, Raki has had chest pains and he doctor has recommended better exercise and time for rest – which hasn’t been easy to fit in between school, work and kids.

So, about a month ago, we finally made a few big decisions.  We haven’t got it all figured out yet, but here is what we have decided:

1.  I am not going to teach next year.  I will stay at home and work on my business, as well as home school the boys.  Since Sam can’t go to “school” in the US yet anyways, this saves us the cost of daycare and allows me to work full time on my business – Raki’s Rad Resources, and spend some real time each day exercising and meditating, and improving my overall health.

2.  Home schooling.  By home schooling the boys, they can spend equal time on English, French and Arabic, giving them the same amount of afternoon time off for friends and activities as if they were going to public school.  This way, they can maintain their language, and hopefully the love of these languages that they have formed, while still having time to be kids.  (Since the mass of homework they are doing now is one of the reasons we are finding Morocco disagreeable, the kids are excited to homeschooling.) 

3.  Raki will student teach in GA and we will be in GA with him for the duration of his student teaching.  We decided that separating our family was not a good idea for anyone, although he will return to the US a month early to take his certification test, but 4 weeks is a lot easier to bear than 24 weeks.

4.  The RV.  To reduce costs and make this more feasible, and to help us gain one of our other dreams, we will buy an RV (or convert a school bus into an RV) and use it as our place of residence.  This will also give us the opportunity to continue traveling – which is a family passion.  One possibility for life after Raki is done student teaching is to travel full time in our RV.

So, that is where we are at right now.  Raki will return to the US in June, the boys and I will return in July.  There are so many more decisions to make, but right now we are trying hard to take it one step at a time.  Raki is busily finishing up his Master’s work, packing up what little we are shipping, and selling all of the rest of our stuff.  I am recovering from hernia surgery and trying to balance my classroom and my business and my family for just a bit longer.

I will continue to blog about the experience here until July – and then you can expect to find a new blog-adventure to follow as we change continents and shift gears.

Okay, that was a lot of writing!  Here are a few pictures from our recent trip up north to Tetouan, Cueta and Chef Chouan as a treat for those of you who made it through it all. 

Cueta - light house - Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki   Cueta - garden - Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki

Cueta - statue - Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki     Chef Chouan Morocco - Heidi Raki

Cueta - fortress - Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki Cueta - the view from the top- Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki     Chef Chouan Morocco - kasbah - Heidi Raki Chef Chouan Morocco - kasbah - Heidi Raki

Chef Chouan Morocco - kasbah - Heidi Raki Chef Chouan Morocco - kasbah - Heidi Raki    

 

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Living Among History

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Not long ago, we took a trip to Fes, one of the oldest cities in Morocco.  We walked around the medina, the 100_6989city walls, and an Islamic school that were all built around the year 825 A.D.  It was amazing to see, but the most amazing part was that there were people living right there in the middle of this amazing, historical place.  There were kids kicking a soccer ball, ladies shopping, men drinking coffee, just like every other city I’ve been to in Morocco. 

100_5206We don’t live in quite as historic of a setting, but we still live in a city where donkeys pull carts down the street, meat hangs outside of butcher shops and vegetables are sold by farmers more often than by supermarkets.  This type of setting is amazing for my children.  I love the fact that they can recognize city walls, they know that meat comes from cows (and sheep and chickens) and that everything and anything can be bought at the souk – including a live chicken that will not be live when you leave!  They know that the man saying “eeep” outside is looking for something to buy and the sound of a man calling “Allah Akbar” over a loud speaker means it is time for prayers.  Since we moved here, we have seen ruins and plazas and other amazing things that they wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise.  Having this kind of background knowledge will be an asset for my children. 

 

Heidi Raki blog signature photo 

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Cultural Pictures in Morocco

A few weeks ago, I started taking Arabic lessons.  I go twice a week to learn Classical Arabic so I can help Kal with homework.  (Classical Arabic is not the language on the street here – Darija is.)  Since I know so very little Arabic, I am still very much at the point at a picture and repeat the word over and over stage.  Today I was looking at pictures of meal times, and I realized that the pictures showed traditional Moroccan meals, than if I showed to students in America, they may not recognize as breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It reminded me that what an image means to you is so very cultural!  I see it in my classroom all the time – my students look at a picture of something (say a bagel, or a bag of carrot sticks, or raccoon) and they have absolutely no idea what they are looking at. Or, they see a familiar event (breakfast or a party or a school bus) and it looks so completely different from what they know as that event (sausage and eggs for breakfast for example) that they don’t make the connection.

So,  here’s something fun for you – here are some pictures Kal and I use when we are learning Arabic. 

Can you tell which picture is a wedding? 

Can you tell which picture is an important holiday? 

Can you tell which picture is a Friday afternoon lunch? 

Can you tell which picture shows soldiers? 

Can you tell which picture shows a typical dinner meal?

Can you tell which picture is meant to show a farmer?

Can you tell which picture shows a mom making bread?

 

Picture A

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Picture B

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Picture C

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Picture D

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Picture E

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Picture F

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Picture G

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Heidi Raki blog signature photo 

 

Answers:

Can you tell which picture is a wedding? Picture B

Can you tell which picture is an important holiday? Picture D (Eid al Adha)

Can you tell which picture is a Friday afternoon lunch?  Picture G

Can you tell which picture shows soldiers?   Picture F

Can you tell which picture shows a typical dinner meal?  Picture A

Can you tell which picture is meant to show a farmer?  Picture E

Can you tell which picture shows a mom making bread?  Picture C

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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