Sunday, February 14, 2010

Moroccan Valentines

Before I get to Valentine’s Day, quick update on Sefrou visit. Those b****s at Maroc Telecom would not let me switch out my landline phone and internet (2 year contract) for a wifi usb now that wifi is available in REK. Would have contracted for wifi in the first place, had it been available a year ago. They say I have to pay out my contract and get a new contract for wifi. Right-I’m gonna pay 3 bills for a single service. Not. Even get to the Sefrou mudir, he makes a call, still no luck. Tell them I want to do it “nisan” (above board). What if I sign a wireless contract and just don’t pay the landline phone/internet? They’ll cut off service. Waxa, I don’t want that service anyway. But that’s not the way to do business on my end, so I leave, steaming, with my landline modem in hand. Run into Jonathan on my way afterward to the Artisanat-bitch a bit to him about it, and then he tells me, yeah but at least you have 3mg on your landline, right? NOOO. Only 1mg. Incredibly slow downloads. So now I don’t have the service I want and it’s 3x slower than what’s available in Sefrou.

OK, that’s out of my system. Yes, I’m incredibly grateful and blessed to even have internet at my site. Yes, I’m incredibly grateful and blessed to even have internet at my site. Yes, I’m incredibly grateful and blessed to even have internet at my site. Need to get this into my brain and stop complaining.

Lunch w/Jess and Marian, visit w/Fouzia, invited to hitch a ride with her and her sister back to REK later. Oops, mushkil. Sister was in an accident. Hours later, she’s done w/the gendarmes (who wrote out the report over coffee in the café before returning to the office to type it up), and they take away her driver’s license. Make a run for the nukl stand, hoping for transit home. Just in luck-one transit, but only 4 passengers and he doesn’t want to go. Hamdullah, after about 15 minutes, 6 friends who are returning to REK from Fes via Sefrou walk up. Driver now has to take us. Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Now let’s turn our attention back to Valentine’s Day….

So I decide to go down to the Coop this morning, a little later than usual-didn’t really have any specific business to do, but had told Zahra that I’d come by. Glad I did. She greets me with questions about today’s holiday. Huh? You know, the American Holiday today. Huh? Geez, I just found out yesterday that it’s President’s Day Weekend on Skype w/Jo, but why would Zahra know about that? Then she’s asking, isn’t there a holiday of the heart today? OHHH. Valentine’s Day. Yes! Duh, Lynn. She’s wishing you Happy Valentine’s Day! Thanks! Mind you, this is a Coop of all unmarried women. I didn't give any other description of the holiday. Decided I like the idea of a Holiday of the Heart.

So then I’m back in the “kitchen” with Fatiha while she’s making tea, just talking. No one’s doing much work, and everyone’s in a silly mood. I tell them I need to get something-will be right back. Once again, thanks to Cindy, I’ve got Valentine’s candy-in Valentine’s baggies, so I go home and bring it back to share with the women. Meanwhile, Zahra’s sent Ferida to the souk to get bread, limonada and pastry-to celebrate. How sweet is that?

Meantime, I’ve found out that Ferida and Nora are in computer class 2 hours every Saturday and Sunday (not just Saturday)-Kantara Craft grant at work. In addition, Fatiha and Malika have started going to Zahra’s Fusha (classical Arabic) literacy classes on Sunday afternoons. Tbarkalihum!

Shared a copy of the new website w/Zahra-she hadn’t seen it yet. Reminded me that I need to add info on sponsors page for the grant they recently received from the King-iyeah!

Finished up in time to meet Pete and a friend of his who is visiting, at the café. Decided to go on the walk that Fuzia took me on back behind the old military training center-path isn’t too muddy-great views to show Will, and besides, I want to get a picture of the olive press working. See, I’m compiling a list of photos I want to be sure and get while in Morocco, and ones of the traditional olive mill and presses are on the list. However, there’s only the one traditional press in REK, we’re at the end of pressing season, and I’ll be gone before the next olive season starts next year. So I was delighted that Pete and Will wanted to go on the walk. Hamdullah, REK friends were working the press-got great pics, tasted the oil fresh from the basket press and had tea at the house of one of them. Great “typical” experience for Will. Go into the house, shoes off, into the small salon, TV is on showing a video of a relative’s wedding w/the volume up HIGH, served tea, and look at a stack of photos of people we don’t know. This is about as typical a visit as one can get. Meanwhile, we’ve had a terrific walk, great views, and wonderful hospitality by townspeople. Hamdullah.

Now I’m catching up on a few things before taking ½ kg bibi u qr3a sharab (approx 1 lb turkey and a bottle of wine) to Pete’s-he’s cooking for Will and invited me to join them.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

No comments: