Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fes and World Sacred Music Festival

Oh my gosh, it’s been 6 months of service and only 1 ½ yrs to go. I don’t have time to get it all done. Here’s my to do/wish list: Pilot Regional Craft Fair, Develop Regional Training Workshops, Determine Fair Trade Status for Artisans, Pursue Ministry Quality Certification, Adwal Grant Requests for training and support for showroom in building adjacent, Business skills workshops/follow up per Delegate request, Arrange French translations for brochure/business cards/website/product and price lists, Follow up on Linda Z’s initiatives after her COS. Oh, and all of this needs to include skill transfer/capacity building so that the women of the Coop are doing these things on their own by the time I leave. Oh, and carve out more Arabic study time, as that’s really dropped off and keep up the 3-4 times/week pilates routine. Gulp. No wonder time seems to be flying!

Yet here I am, again in Fes, for the World Sacred Music Festival. Interesting festival. There are lectures, 2 ticketed events, and some free concerts that may or may not happen, every day for a week. My friend Lisa came in town yesterday and we’ve spoiled ourselves-sushi lunch followed by walk to fabulous patissierie. Saw amazing Indian traditional dancer at the Batha Museum, which is this serene place right by the madness of the old medina, with a beautiful, huge, landscaped courtyard. The concert was followed by juice and more incredible pastries in the tranquility of this venue. Yum. Then we walked all over while biding our time before the 10:30pm free concert...that never happened. We think they had it at 6:30 instead. So we made up for this by going back to the Batha this morning-such beautiful space, but the rest of the museum was closed. So we walked all over the medina, down Tela Sguira instead of the usual route-and enjoyed the more peaceful pace of a Sunday morning. Then Lisa showed remarkable restraint as I tried to find another sweet space outside Bab Boujeloud, but didn’t have the name or address or number of the place. Called Jess, who of course had the info we needed. A guy at a random telebotique helped us out, not only by calling the place, but escorting us the 10 min walk to make certain we got there! Then we were delighted by the lunch we shared. A gastronomic, visual and olfactory beaut! We had 8 little dishes of spreads, veggie combos, olives and bread. Safi. Shbet. But then there was a tangine. Oh no, dessert too? Yum-strawberries w/a little orange. All in this beautiful, small, flower filled courtyard with the fountain going and the small kitchen open and children who live in this “teahouse” playing. I told Lisa I wasn’t sorry I dragged her there in the heat of the day, just sorry it took so long to find it. I’ll be back.

Then she was off to return to her site, so I decided to go get a ticket to the afternoon concert at the Batha-Zabit Nabizade Trio-traditional music of Azerbaidjan. Saw a friend I knew and sat next to someone else who knows Jess. Small world. This evening Jess is coming back up to Fes and we’ve got tickets to the Whirling Dervishes. Should be a great show. Meantime, as I type this on the rooftop of the Clock, they’ve got music starting downstairs.

This will be a brief post, as I’m due to meet Jess and others right now. Heading to Casablanca in the early am to meet w/a guy to talk about Fair Trade for artisans. It’ll be an early train, as Morocco goes on Daylight Savings time tomorrow, so will lose an hour sleep. Maybe I’ll find it on the train, inshallah.

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