Rachel Weiner

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Rachel Weiner
Flag of Morocco.svg
Country Morocco
Years: 2008-2010
Site(s) Tinzouline
Region(s) Zagora
Program(s) Youth,Other
Assignment(s) Youth,Other
From US state Delaware
From US town/city Wilmington
Rachel Weiner started in Morocco 2008
So-Youn Kim, Rachel Weiner
Region: Zagora
Rachel Weiner
Youth in Morocco:
Gerry (G) Kaufman, Rachel Weiner
Other in Morocco:25px
Rachel Weiner
Other Volunteers who served in Morocco
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Jesse Bailey, Maggie Barnes, Barbara Ferris, Maureen Hagen, Orin (Buz) Hargraves, Bernadine L. Hoff, Gerry (G) Kaufman, Dave Keiser, So-Youn Kim, Bonnie Kirk, Charlie (Hassan) Kolb, Raymond Kruger, Nam LaMore, Suzanne Lane Belahmira, Anjali Mahoney … further results
Projects in Morocco
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GGLOW Camp for Youth, Safety in the Workplace, Well Refurbishment, Women's Community Center, Women's Computer Literacy Classes
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[edit] Anecdote From Service

There are these exquisite little sugar cookies we eat with tea at my host family's house. They have honeycomb patterns, and I always felt guilty enjoying them because I knew they were from a store, and not baked by my host mom or host sister, Samira.

One particular day, after eating a few of these cookies with tea for a mid-morning snack, I made my way to a new acquaintance's house who had invited me for lunch. As soon as I arrived, they asked me to give them some money. They relented...

"Help me get a visa to America," the man insisted.
“I don’t know how,” I said truthfully, as I inched away from him slowly.

I sat there, fuming internally, and plotting my escape. I managed to leave by making up some excuses.

When I got home I headed toward the kitchen, armed with my Arabic dictionary, in case I needed some serious words to talk to Samira and my host mom about what had happened. I thought someone in my town should know about this. The kitchen smelled warm. My host mom, Samira and I all sat in a 3x6 room for an hour with the warm oven, and the swirling scent of vanilla, sesame seeds, yeast, and orange rind. I put my book behind me and sat down on the stool they pulled into the kitchen for me. Minute by minute, I felt the tension leave my muscles, aided by the fresh out-of-the-oven cookies they gave me to eat. I smiled as I realized that these were the beautiful little sugar cookies that they serve me sometimes before dinner... and they’re not from the store. Samira invited me to help make the little honeycomb pattern in the dough. After we had made what seemed like 300 cookies together, Samira turned to me and said,

“Now what did you want to talk to me about?”

I took a deep breath and relayed in broken Derija the events of the day. I could feel a little ball forming in my throat as I spoke, but Samira stared at me calmly, waiting patiently to see what I would say without responding alarmingly. I got my message across and Samira assured me that I would never have to go back there. I felt supported, protected...and warm. We had dinner like normal, and I tried to explain to them the connotative differences between the words “house” and “home.”

“I’m not explaining this well,” I said to Samira.
“No – I understand,” she assured me, and she put her hand lightly on mine to emphasize the point.

I think people are the same the world over. Some are good, and some are bad, and we should just count ourselves lucky to find the good ones. It's such an incredible feeling to know that despite the cultural or linguistic differences, you can count on someone when you are in distress.

[edit] Description of Service

[edit] Introduction and Preliminary Training

After a competitive application process stressing applicant’s skills, adaptability and willingness to immerse herself in another culture and language, cross-cultural sensitivity, and the desire to serve underprivileged communities, Rachel Weiner began Peace Corps training on September 6th, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She then completed the eleven week training program: one week in Rabat and ten weeks in the community-based training (CBT) site of Mrirt. During this time, Rachel lived with a Moroccan family in order to experience Moroccan culture and family life first-hand, as well as to immerse herself in the language. Ms. Weiner joined other trainees at the training seminar site in Azrou where they participated in cross-cultural and technical sessions organized by Peace Corps staff. During the training period, the following was accomplished:

Study of Arab and Islamic values and traditions with an emphasis on Moroccan history and culture. (28 hours of formal training sessions plus an additional 33 days of cross-cultural experience during a “home stay” with a Moroccan family.)
General introduction to participatory community analysis and development methodologies and the Moroccan Education System through lectures, hands-on activities stressing language, teaching methods and techniques and youth development activities, including girls education (50 hours of formal training). As part of the Community Based Training experience, practice taught, planned and organized youth-related activities in a youth center (120 hours).
General introduction to and intensive study of the Moroccan Arabic dialect (Darija), including reading, writing and speaking. (170 formal hours) Additionally, many informal hours practicing language skills with host family and applying language tasks in a Moroccan community context.
Health care in Morocco; first aid and safety; preventive medicine and nutrition. Safety and Security including both formal sessions and competencies integrated into Language and Cross Culture training (34 formal hours of training plus additional time during language and cross culture classes).

After swearing-in with Peace Corps on November 20th, Rachel served as a Youth Development Volunteer for the Moroccan Ministry of Youth and Sports. Her primary assignment was in a youth center in Tinzouline. She arrived in her site and lived with a host family there for two months.

[edit] Accomplishments

Rachel Weiner was involved in a range of projects and activities in her dual role as English teacher and youth developer. In executing the primary and secondary responsibilities of her service, she:

[edit] Description of Service Summary

Rachel Weiner has successfully integrated into her community, achieving an advanced-high level of fluency in Moroccan Arabic, allowing her to gain the respect of Dar Chebab Directors and coworkers in the Ministry of Youth and Sport. Through her diligence, hard work and perseverance, Rachel Weiner has brought to her local community sustainable projects and ideas, allowing for the growth and development of the community with whom she worked.

Rachel Weiner successfully completed her service with the Peace Corps in Morocco on November 12, 2010. She will fulfill the final Peace Corps goal by sharing Morocco with Americans upon her return to the United States.

Pursuant to Section 5 (f) of the Peace Corps Act, 22 U.S.C. No. 2504 (f) as amended, any former Volunteer employed by the United States Government following her Peace Corps service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps Volunteer service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave or other privileges based on length of government service. Peace Corps service shall not be credited toward completion of a probationary or trial period or completion of any service requirement for career appointment.

[edit] Non-Competitive Eligibility

This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order No. 11103 of 10 April 1963 that Rachel Weiner served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Her service ended on November 26, 2009. She is therefore eligible to be appointed as a career-conditional employee in the competitive civil service on a non-competitive basis. This benefit under the Executive Order entitlement extends for a period of one-year, except that the employing agency may extend for up to three years for a former Volunteer who enters military service, pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher learning, or engages in other activities which, the view of the appointing authority, warrants extension of the period.

November 12, 2010 David Lillie - Country Director

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