Finally, the CPR classes begin this coming week, sometime, uhhhmm . . . we’re pretty sure. Probably Tuesday or Wednesday, “automatic,” as Mohammed told me. He and I went to the CPR on Tuesday and the grounds were bustling with teachers, admin people and staff. The director wasn’t there, so we didn’t get to talk to him to confirm the opening date. I don’t think anyone really knows the EXACT day yet, but next week does seem to be firm. Mohammed and I discussed what I will teach this first term. We settled on Methods and Approaches, How to Teach Listening, and Language Proficiency and Development, this last course being for the benefit of the teachers, to increase THEIR English language skills. There are 40 students enrolled this year and they are broken into 2 groups, each group taking 2 hours in each of my classes each week. Thus, I have 12 contact hours (3 classes X 2 groups X 2hours) each week, but I will also be involved with some extracurricular activities, like Drama Club or, perhaps, a culture club. So, that’s how it stacks up for now. The details could change, of course, but at least I’ll finally get to work. More on this as more information becomes available.

Mohammed also told me on Tuesday that the following three days were a holiday. I asked him why and he said that the King was generous to his people. Hmmmm, that sounded plausible, but I thought there must be more to it than mere monarchical benificence. Indeed, it is Independence Day today, the celebratation of the 50th Anniversary of King Mohammed V‘s return from exile. Interesting that the French exiled him to Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon. So, all government entities have been closed for the last three days, but, except for the proliferation of Moroccan flags along the main avenues, you’d hardly know that anything was happening. I guess there’s a big shindig tonight in the medinah, near Mohammed’s house, with a big outdoor screen set up to show the festivities from Rabat.

Luckily, La Bel Vie is open, and walking back this afternoon from buying a few things I was able to witness one of the most crimson-colored sunsets I’ve ever seen. The sun was deep blood-red as it lowered to the horizon, and it cast a beautiful rosy limelight around the edges of the several puffy cumulus clouds in the vicinity. Pretty spectacular; unluckily, I wasn’t carrying my camera. [sigh] More later.