OK, so while I stand by my last posting, here’s the good that came out of the week in Ain Leuh…..
Festival time brings tourists to this small duar-saw more than I’ve seen in a town that size since I’ve been in Morocco, and that’s good for the local economy.
Great to see Khadija (CBT training host “mom”)-she looks great, sat down with her for tea to catch up, and ordered a hanbl from her. It will be very special to have something that she has made in my home. I also got to see Ayoub-her son, but Ahelan was away on holiday w/relatives. Got to see a lot of the other Coop women that we worked with last fall as well.
Ate better than I have since I can remember. It was a gourmet’s delight. When I left this morning, there were 7 quarts of hand-picked blackberries just waiting to be made into confiture (jam). This is after we’ve eaten them plain, on French toast, in pancakes and in a O’Henrys crusted custard and blackberry pie. Yum. We feasted on homemade tortillas w/refried beans (ok, so Randy got pinto beans from the states), chicken and veggie curry (again, Randy shared some of her precious curry paste from the states), fried rice, pasta salad, chicken and cheese béarnaise crepes…and the list goes on. Fortunately Lisa and Kristen LOVE to cook, and the rest of us are fine w/doing the clean up, so we made a good team.
I fell in love w/Randy’s new calico kitten-what an absolute doll! She’s playful as anything and sooo cute. Was very tempted to take up the offer of her sister kitten in town, but decided to stay pet-less.
Learned to play Scrabble-never made it into my game playing repertoire before this-from some masters. Taught them Rummicube.
Slept under mountain cooled summer full moon.
Showers every day-water avail all day long!
Nice hike up the mountain above the village for a picnic.
Laughed hysterically as we rode the bumper cars at the festival/carnival late one night.
Sucked down lots of ns ns kbir (basically your large latte) at the new zwin outdoor qhaHawa overlooking the town.
And last but not least, left behind a terrific mural on a large horizontal wall in the center of town. Done with the help of the campers and many kids too small for the camp who came and worked very hard to finish the project. Got many wonderful comments from townspeople, and drew onlookers constantly who watched this dirty wall, once marked by black boxes for the recent election, morph into a wonderful scene of a Berber woman working to help preserve their beautiful Ain Leuh.