Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Just Routine

I don’t know about you, but I like a little bit of routine in my life. Hamdullah-I’ve found some here in Morocco! You don’t realize how nice it is until it’s missing. I’m enjoying being able to do my Pilates and have a hot shower right after in the comfort of my own home (although yesterday it was so zwin (nice) out that I took my computer/Pilates CD to the roof and did it outside). It’s ok so far having to cook-no prepared food anywhere-you want it-you cook it. At least there’s fresh produce and bread available everyday and I walk right by the vendors as I go to the coop. Now that we have the l-eid/Xmas/New Years/10th day of 1st mo of Islamic calendar behind us, the coop is open 5 days/week, so my visits w/the women are becoming routine. Hamdullah.

Even life around town is becoming more routine. Metalan (for example), the transit guy sees me in El Menzel after my every-Wednesday-afternoon-tutoring and grabs me for the transit leaving for Ribat El Kheir. He knows where I’m headed and makes certain I don’t miss the bus. The guys sitting at the corner café sipping tea greet me-I go over to talk with them. As one starts to introduce me around, I realize I know 4 of the 6 of them-from the cyber, the busta, the hanut, etc. Yesterday I run into Clark-YD PCV in REK trying to get transport to bring 20 tree seedlings back to Sefrou to plant with the kids at his Dar Chebab. I go to the drugeri (hardware store) where I know the mul-drugeri (owner) who's been terrific to me and ask if he knows anyone who can help. Sure enough, in about 10 min he has someone lined up. OK, so I’m not a “local”, but it's nice to know others who can help.

My Mon-Fri tutoring has been a good routine, but is about to change. Thank goodness I got Khalid lined up in El Menzel, as my original tutor, Saida, and I had our last lesson today. F l-axir (finally) I understand all the calls from her cousin in Agadir during our lessons. She confides in me last week that she’s hoping to get married. Iask who he is. Turns out-she’s marrying her cousin and will be moving to Agadir into the same house w/her aunt and uncle. She won’t be teaching anymore-she wants to be a wife and mother. Inshallah. She’s a real sweetheart, and she just glows! So I need to find another tutor here in REK. Interestingly enough, I asked her if she knows of anyone. She can only think of one person, would I mind if it was a male teacher? I told her it didn’t make any difference, and I know of one tutor who I had interviewed before hiring her. Turns out, he’s the same person she was thinking of. I ran into him last week briefly, and when I asked how he was doing, he mentioned that his tutoring business was pretty slow. Hopefully that means I’ll be able to hire him to tutor me. Keep that routine going-it’s an important one.

An interesting routine to observe around town: sunny skies mean the house goes outdoors. Not for living. I thought for “airing out”. Nope. As I’m learning from my own place, since there’s no heating inside to dry things out, you get a lot of condensation inside. This is magnified by the tendency to tile most surfaces indoors, ie; floor and walls. This makes for damp conditions. Thus the sunshine provides the opportunity to dry everything out-the blankets, cushions, you name it-it’s out on the line to dry. Oh, and did I mention that we’re on 3 straight days of sunshine? Hamdullah.

I’m still developing my evening routine--evenings tend to be pretty long. The men go out to the cafes for coffee, but women stay in their homes-nowhere for them to go in the evenings. When I’ve gone to others’ homes for a meal it is for Friday couscous-mid day meal-or tea, which is around 5-6pm. I don’t go out at night. I’ve learned the magic of downloading to my computer and am reading a lot, but it’s already crossed my mind that I may end up getting a TV. (Hshuma-shame).Yes, even that is possible here in REK, and there are English channels available. We’ll see.

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