Below is an e-mail Taylor sent yesterday. I'm posting it for anyone who may not have been included (I'm guessing, based on what I read here, that capitalization is some sort of cultural taboo there. Perhaps they confiscated her "Shift" key at customs). T.
here's a long email from your beloved taylor..
yesterday jacob, david and i went out to try and find some lunch. we had no idea where we were going, but along the way this guy struck up a conversation with us and his english was so good it barely sounded like he even had an accent. his name is kahlid and he seemed really cool so we invited him to eat with us. he showed us a bookstore with a restaurant on the terrace. i ate the best omelette of my life. kahlid is almost finished with his BA degree. he goes into the remote villages and teaches public school. his job is to talk to families and convince them to send their daughters into the city to get further education. he's also doing a community development project where he buys the supplies for young girls to make handcrafts and then he sends them to a friend in another country that runs a fair trade store! he really wants to come to america and teach arabic. his dream is to get a masters in international relations and work in an asian country. he was super intelligent and had a lot of cool things to say about his country's economic problems and stuff. he was really thankful for us coming here and helping his country. he said, "the help can't just come from outside though, you know? we don't need the peace core, we need our country to be its own peace core." i thought that was well said. we told him it was autumn's birthday that day and he was all pumped to help us find a way to celebrate so he talked to the owner of the restaurant and planned a party!
so last night we had local cuisine and a birthday cake at this place. there was a fire going and live music. the entertainers made autumn get up and dance and they sang happy birthday to her. tod came with us! [Tod is an American living there. Taylor and her fiance', Clayton, struck up a relationship with him over the internet before Taylor even knew she was going there. Tod has been a host to Taylor and her team. T.] it was really good to talk to him more and find out what exactly brought him to live here, hear about his family in the states, and talk to him about our faith. after dinner i was talking with the team and we all agreed that tod looked super sad and depressed. of course, why wouldn't he be? but we feel so helpless to make his situation better. we're going to all lay hands and pray for him at some point. and hopefully we can give him some money. right now he's working for a man in exchange for his work they give him food and a place to stay. besides that he's pretty much broke. his son is living with his wife's parents in rabat, so he barely sees him, which is really hard for him. he's on speaking terms with his wife. they haven't gotten divorced yet or anything, but he's not living with her and her prostitute friend. he's completely in limbo. but hey keeps going. today he took us on a tour of real native areas, not the touristy stuff. he showed us where he lives and also took us to an old palace.
our school leader jen flew in this morning and is visiting us this week. she, along with most of the team, is feeling pretty sick. 3 people are basically bed ridden with horrible sinus problems and chest colds. you can be praying people start feeling better before our village trek where we'll be hiking 8 miles a day in the cold. trying not to think too much about that haha.
i love and miss you all!