IST: The Prom Auction

IMG_3517The longer I spend with The Staj of Love, the more I fall in love.  There is something electric about what we, as a group, are able to create.  When you break it down into what each of us can do as individuals, it honestly feels like we can make a difference here.  That’s what took me off guard the most when I joined the Peace Corps.  The people.  We have people from every walk of life.  They are all highly educated and highly motivated to make their world a better place.  It is incredible to be one of them.

Towards the end of our 10-Day training event in Marrakesh, we will be holding a prom.  In order to fund the prom, we held a Skills Auction this evening.  I didn’t think much of it beforehand.  I did end up signing up to sell my skills as an editor.  In the end, however, about 20 people signed up to sell their skills.  It turned into an incredible opportunity to get to know the people that make up The Staj of Love.  We had massages.  We had yoga lessons.  We had mural paintings.    We had Japanese lessons.  We had a tarot card reading.  The list was long and incredible.  I honestly feel like I know many of the people from my Staj a lot better because of tonight.

But what caught everyone off guard was how intense the bidding process got.  I won’t go into dollar amounts, but the amount gathered was incredible.  Bidding wars took place on almost every item.  After only a few items, it was clear that the atmosphere was changing.  It became electric.  People became very serious.  There was applause and much hooting when a large dollar amount was met.  I even got caught up in the emotion and bought myself a personalized slam poem from a very talented young poet.  As for my editing skills, I will be helping out on Maters’ Thesis over my Peace Corps term.

Our time at this training is halfway over.  We are going to go out with a big bang—prom.  After that, The Staj of Love will separate once more.  I’ve been cynical about the ability for us to do much good here in Morocco.  But that cynicism is disappearing now.  With the type of people we are sending out there, I’m convinced that we will bring forth a strong image of America.

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