Except of course, it's the middle of January and it was beautifully sunny out, had the windows open to air out the apt, wore my 3 layers w/o a coat-hamdulah.
Typical day. Get up, have some yogurt and OHenry’s (kinda like a graham cracker) and coffee for breakfast. Do a little work on the computer. Try to get online, of course the rizzo (connection) isn’t working. Then the du (electricity) goes out. Hmmmm-great weather, no wind, how come?
Head on down to the Coop. The women trickle in. Not a lot of work going on right now. Stand out in the sunshine and talk w/one of the apprentices. She’s in Pete’s Tuesday evening English class, but doesn’t want to practice, so we lean over the railing overlooking the zlul (valley below) and laugh at the sheep and goat grazing just below us. Safi? Baraka.
Head home to change clothes to go for a walk. Kinda burned out on the Pilates DVDs (Jeez, ya think? Been using the same 2 for over a year now), so have a route around the “village” part of REK that takes about 45 minutes at a good pace. Lots of kids heading back to school from lunch. Lots of staring. Them, not me. Lots of “bonjour madame”. I don’t respond. I’m not French, don’t speak French. The 2 who say “Hello”, I stop and talk with. My way of encouraging them to not think of all “western looking” person as French. Last week when I walked the same route, I passed a woman I’ve never met-she looked me right in the eye, so I said “salam” and she continues to look me right in the eye and says “hmara”. Hello!! That means “donkey” and about the worst thing you can call someone w/o swearing. Huh? Don’t know you, you don’t know me, why the insult? Geez, just trying to get a little exercise and be a bit friendly. Oh well. Carry on.
Fouzia comes over for coffee and cookies. She lives in Sefrou w/her sister, but is from here (REK). Used to be a PC language trainer and is self taught in English-has excellent language. She comes to REK every other weekend and this was our first opportunity to get together since we were introduced a couple months ago. It was such a beautiful day, we decided to go for a walk. We went east from the village-further and behind where I’ve been before. Her extended family used to own a great deal of the land behind the military property. Her father was in the military and the first house she lived in was on that property-they still own it and keep their chickens there. We walked east and south of that property-to a little village that technically is part of REK, but I’ve never seen before-again, much of her family is still back there-all along the ridge overlooking the valley. Crystal clear day-beautiful view. Stopped at the olive oil mill. Didn’t even know there was an old one still working in REK-grinding 330kg of olives-burro led circular grinder and woven mat sieves. I scored a bottle of the oil. Best oil anywhere. Murky, completely unfiltered, fruity, flavorful. Dip it into some homemade bread that they had there-I’m talking DE-licious! I wanted to pay for the oil, but Fouzia said it would be haram (shameful) to do so. Wow. Finished the walk all along the ridge to come up on the alley in front of the Coop. I never knew where that alley went. Now I’ve got a whole new walk-FAR more scenic-but for dry days only-would be a muddy mess in the rain. Thanks Fouzia for showing me a new side to the town I live in!
Took a long hot shower and didn’t close my balcony door til about 7pm-it was that mild outside. Got a call from Fouzia offering to bring me a traditional Moroccan dinner. Was it haram to turn it down? It was so incredibly sweet of her, but there I was, wet hair, fuzzy robe over my jammies and ready to just settle in for the evening-no plan for dinner-not really hungry. Tried to explain the “rain check” concept and hope that’s ok.Life is good.
But wait, there’s more. I’ve got rizzo now and got to Skype w/Debbie. Unfortunately missed Joanne-will try to catch her tomorrow. Checked the REK weather-see the link on the left-updated every 6 hrs-says it will get up to 70 tomorrow. Supposed to be nice all week. Hamdullah.
Do a quick check of emails. See that now Kristen and Cynthia may join up at Joy’s next week-as Joy says, it would be a real squeeze, but a great group. Perfect ending to a really nice day.