Fes, Morocco. Enjoying a nice walk with my language
teacher and a few other volunteers.
Hello all! Thanks for stopping by! I am enjoying my Peace Corps experiences here in Sidi Kacem. However, I should be honest with you to tell you that there are some hard days. The Peace Corps has definitely been a challenging test of my faith in God; when you are separated from everything that is familiar to you, you begin to understand that if you are brave enough to embark on such an adventure, life and the Holy Spirit will sometimes bring you to environments where nothing is familiar to you but Him: you don’t recognize the people around you, every relationship you build is a new one that still deserves the “politeness” that your older ones have finally outgrown, and you find yourself quickly attaching to the slightest bit of normalcy that comes into your everyday schedule just for the sake of staying sane. In times like this, some would turn to alcohol, sex, clubbing, meaningless attractions, or obviously unnecessary “friendships” that only suffice for the sake of not feeling lonely. I, on the other hand, having failed at the above in my past, have decided to turn to God.
I begin each day with my Bible and close each day with prayer. When I don’t do this, I notice a difference in myself: the unfamiliarity of everything irritates me a little more than it normally would, I catch myself negatively questioning my purpose (click here to read about my purpose) here in Morocco, and anything annoying about the day just seems a little harder to shake off. In other words, I’m a mess and completely not myself.
What I’m trying to say is that I am nothing without God and this experience has taught me that now more than ever. One thing I enjoy about my temporary small town home here in Africa is the lack of buildings that are present in contrast to American cities where you are constantly surrounded by businesses, buildings and billboards full of advertisements. That kind of stuff isn’t here in Sidi Kacem, Morocco and being so far away from it has brought me closer to one of the few scenes here on Earth which is left how God somewhat intended it to look: nature.
When I’m around nature, I feel closer to God; there are no busy people rushing down the street to head to their next business meetings, no crowded areas filled with vendors asking you for their next dollar, and no sights of humanity slowly drawing itself away from selflessness as we so easily do in advanced larger cities. Just me, God and the world as I imagine it pictorially.
I can recall this one particular landscape area that I came upon during my Peace Corps training in Fes, Morocco (picuture above). It was so beautiful because it was almost entirely untouched by man and, therefore, had a little bit of each blessing that God provides to humans through nature: there was a beautiful riverbed that looked amazing as the sun shined directly upon the rocks it went through, a gorgeous array of yellow, orange and green flowers, the greenest grass I had ever laid my eyes on, and just opposite of the mountain and valley view were a herd of sheep grazing not too far from a few beautiful brown horses. It was spectacular!
I can remember one day taking the long way home and skipping lunch with my host family just for the sake of being around this environment a little longer. I asked a fellow volunteer, who happens to be an atheist, to accompany me on the outing. As we were nearing the landscape, she mentioned: “I think I have been over here but I didn’t like it because of all the trash in that one area.” As we neared closer, I shared with her my spiritual perspective on the area and how God had allowed me to see it. She later said, “You know, this place looked completely different to me until I had your eyes with me to truly appreciate it for what it is.” I wanted to tell her that they weren’t my eyes, it was simply the gift of positively viewing every perception of life that God had blessed me with by being able to see the world through His eyes and how He sees things. However, somehow, I didn’t think she would quite get me because of our different views on the world.
Sometimes, life will throw us curve balls: we will look up and be in a completely different range of our lives than we were the year, day or second before. Having God in my life has allowed me to tackle each day with a smile on my face because I know that no matter how many things may seem to be going “wrong” (I use quotations because often times it’s not that aspects of our life are going “wrong” but it’s just that we haven’t finished that portion of our lives yet and, thus, have not matured with the wisdom necessary to appreciate that moment in time), there is always so much more that is going right. Even in nature, we always really appreciate the sun that much more after we go through a few more rainy days than normal. God’s love is so evident throughout all of the beautiful nature moments I have found here…each time I come across one, it’s like I can hear Him saying: “hang in there Jordone. Just a little bit longer. I am proud of you.”
A different landscape area in Sefrou, Morocco. Enjoyed my weekend getaway here during training awhile back.
A fellow volunteer and I enjoying the view
Enjoy life…God is awesome 🙂