Friday, March 26, 2010

Eid Milad

It’s been a birthday kinda week. Happy Birthday Bubba! Happy Birthday to Fatima and Ferida. Party at the Coop today-Naima brought meat and fruit for our lunch and I baked a cake-and we didn’t even coordinate it. Pretty sweet.

Met up w/Fatima and Zahra as they were returning from going to the bank in El Menzel, so we could celebrate. So why do they go to El Menzel if the bank has opened up a branch in REK you ask? Well, that’s because they’re not actually branches. Each one is independent. You can’t bank at one and easily complete transactions at another. It would take “jbl d wraq” that’s a mountain of paper, to switch to the REK “branch”, so they just continue to go to El Menzel. So wireless internet will be the first internet connection most people have in this town, should they ever have their own computer, but banking is still a paper machine. Go figure.

Good to see the woman who makes the Hasir feeling better and back in the Coop, especially since there’s a new order for one. Also good to note that Fatima was talking with both her and another woman about the potential zrbya orders, ie; how long they would take to make, sizes, etc. Just wish I could figure out how to get them moving on these order requests w/o having to remind them. One of the requests if thru the new website, one from friend of friend in Fes, one from one of the MANY email inquiries I’ve sent to exporters and one thru another exporter I know. They need to understand that customers need a prompt response or they’ll go elsewhere.

Met Pete for qhwa. He’s leaving for Spring Camp today. This next week is Spring Break for the schools, so the Ministry of Youth and Sport holds English Spring Camp in about 20 Dar Chebabs (Youth Centers) across Morocco and Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteers help run the camps. I volunteered in Fes last year, taking a pass this year. Approximately 75% of all Morocco PCVs will be helping out at these camps over the next week.

Got home so I’d be here when the refrigerator technician from Fes was to arrive at 2. OK, so he didn’t get here until 5, complete with entourage. It’s on the 3rd week of not working. Motor’s shot. They actually take the refrigerator with them so he can install a new motor. OK, when will I have it back? Next Thursday. Hamdullah, Lindsay and I are supposed to be here then. Where do you have a refrigerator repair take a full month? Morocco. Yak?

Fortunately I don’t need the refrigerator desperately. I’ll have a full house this weekend for the cheese workshop, but we’ll be using another kitchen to do the work. Lisa’s coming in today so we can check that everything is ready for the workshop tomorrow and Sunday. Marian is also coming in-she wanted to bring some of her women, but since we had to limit the number of local participants, didn’t feel it would be right to bring in others from another community. At least this way she can see how Lisa does each of the cheeses and can do it herself in her site.

In addition, several friends from Fes will be coming down for the day tomorrow to observe. Gail is a potential customer for artisanal cheese for her FezFoods business. Michele and her husband have a tourism company based in Fes, so she wants to see what a group could do if she brought them to REK. I’ve set her up to meet w/the President of the REK Tourism Assn., she’ll see the cheesemaking, Taeawniya Adwal and I’ll take her by the Couscous Coop. Hopefully this will entice them to bring tourists to visit (and of course, buy Adwal products!)

Well, time to wrap this up. Marian is here, Lisa’s about to arrive. It’s an absolutely perfect spring day-the sunshine has lifted everyone’s mood, everyone’s out and about. We definitely need to take a walk. After couscous, of course-it is Friday after all.

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