Friday, April 10, 2009


You learn the Gumby Game in Morocco. Go with the flow. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Swiya b swiya.

So I need to be in Sefrou by 4pm yesterday for the Women’s Wellness Workshop, yak? However, Zahra from Coop wants to go to see Drs. Mimi and Asma to give them certificates of appreciation from Adwal for their work at the cancer screening. Will I go to take photos? Sure, when? She wants to leave at 8am. Geez. OK. But Aicha doesn’t want to travel to Sefrou alone later in the day, so she’ll come with us in the morning.

We meet at the nuqls at 8. No nuqls. Seems the transit strike is not over as had been rumored. Crap. However, there is a nuql going to El Menzel, and hopefully we can find a tomobil we can pay to get to Sefrou. OK, yalla. Nuql stops at the intersection of the road to Fes and El Menzel and we scamper out, grab our stuff, cuz there’ a car going to Sefrou. Can’t get to it fast enough-people appear out of the fields and fill the car. Bummer-back on the nuql and we’ve lost our seats. Get to El Menzel, and sure enough, there’s a guy w/a car and room for the 3 of us to go to Sefrou. Wahoo. So on the way to Sefrou, I’m trying to pick up messages from Sarah (workshop coordinator), but since it’s hilly, rizzo (network reception) is bad. Finally get message that due to strike, so many workshop participants can’t get out of their sites, that we’re postponing the workshop. Crap. We’re just about at Sefrou, and have paid premium price for the ride (and I’m paying for Aicha’s transport). Ask the driver if he’s returning to Hermoumu. Yes. When? He’ll give us ½ hour to do business, then he’s going back. OK, yalla. Talk about trust-Aicha and I leave our bags in his car-brought stuff for the weekend and don’t want to drag it on our backs all over Sefrou-sure hope we see the stuff again. We see Dr. Mimi, but Dr. Asma isn’t in town, and of course my camera is in the bag I left w/the driver, so I can’t take photo and now I’m really worried that I may never see my stuff again. We have another meeting that Aicha needs on behalf of her father to try to move his 3x/week dialysis from Fes to Sefrou. Time’s up, but Zahra needs to go to the Artisana to see our delegate and get some business done. Do I leave her and get certain transport or accompany her to the Artisana? She doesn’t need me there and I want to be certain I get Aicha back home. Get the driver to agree to come back to Sefrou later-he’ll bring Zahra and Sarah (who is scrambling to change the arrangements for us to do the workshop Monday-Thursday instead) back to REK in the afternoon. Hamdullah. And he follows thru. Ham-du-li-lah..

So about this transit strike-still don’t have the full picture (no surprise). It’s the grand taxi and nuql drivers protesting about gov’t regulations-they’re subsidized by gov’t since they are the transportation lifeline across the country. None of them are travelling major roads or to large towns as they fear reprisals from other drivers. However, nuql drivers who want to work are still driving between small duars. I see an occasional grand taxi in town-probably a driver going between small duars. Buses are running. However, the strike pretty much paralyses everything. School is messed up since teachers can’t get to school (many live quite a way from their schools and rely on transport), businesses can’t operate normally, etc. This has been going on for three days. What a mess. Clusters of people sitting on their haunches on the side of the road hoping for room on anything travelling the direction they want to go, to no avail-every vehicle is full to the brim.

So I’m back in site. Sarah and Nathan are here. Cooked up veggie stirfry and broke open the bottle of rum I brought back from Fes and tried to make Moroccan Mojitos (that fresh mint for tea is readily available for mojitos). They’re pretty swiya, but we drink them anyway-need to get a recipe before I do that again. Today’s an unexpected free day, we’ve got drizzly fog, so we’re just lounging around, big breakfast, making peanut butter cookies and playing Rummicube, listening to tunes. Hamdullah.

Now I need to pull together my packing to leave on Sunday for two weeks. Easter at my friend Jess’s in Sefrou on Sunday, stay for the Women’s Workshop until Wednesday when I go to Rabat for a dentist appt and go by the PC office, then one day in Casablanca until I catch my flight to Seattle a week from tomorrow.

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