Thursday, April 15, 2010

Showing off REK

We’re off to Mrraksh (again) and the Marche Maroc Craft Fair……..

Pamela and I made it back to REK in time for her to take a tour of the souk-Monday is souk day and it’s like a huge flea market w/tons of vegetables and goats and sheep-quite a show. We were starved, so bought some meat to be grilled in a sandwich in one of the cafes. I think I took Pamela into a “no woman” zone, since the guys weren’t very friendly, confused and confusing when we went to pay for our drinks-even tho’ we went in there ‘cuz there had been a woman sitting there right before we arrived. This was in the lagar side of town, so must have crossed some unwritten barrier/threshold. Smeh li.

On Tuesday we had a chance to go down to the coop to show Adwal’s work to Pamela and have lunch with the women, stopped by the Dar Taliba (girls’ dorm) for a tour by Hasna and met up with Fouzia for tea and a walk to see the view over the zlul.

We also took time to go by Meriem’s office to weigh the feta cheese made at the cheese workshop (it has to sit in the brine for 5-30 days before it’s ready). We’ve now got only the gouda to weigh (it has another week to sit before it’s ready). I showed Meriem all the information we have on yields, prices, etc. and gave her homework to give to the Milk Coop. They need to determine other costs, ie; cheesecloth, transport, packaging, etc., so we can do an assessment of the financial feasibility of producing cheese vs selling the milk. Stay tuned.

Hamdullah, later that same day my refrigerator was delivered and is working again (after only 6 weeks). OK, must admit that I thought the guy had to come back in the morning to do something w/the gas/compressed Freon container. Turns out I just needed to wait unil the morning to plug it in so the Freon container pressurized. All’s well and the kitchen’s back in order.

Yesterday we had another busy day, with the morning spent making couscous with the women of the Couscous Coop. I had gone by on Monday to see if we could sit in with them while they actually made the couscous (not when they are cooking it), and they told us to come back Wed. morning. This is something I wanted to see before recommending it to either Gail or Michele to bring tourists to see/participate in. We had a fun several hours-observing, getting our hands in the making, talking and joking, and then sharing a delicious lunch with them. I found out that the Couscous Coop itself is new-although the women have been running a kitchen for some time-and they want help in their marketing. They were extremely welcoming and hopefully we can bring some tourists in to share this experience with them.

We then headed over to El Menzel, where Adwal an exhibit at a festival at the Lycee (kind of a college/vocational school/craft fair at the high school). This gave Pamela a chance to meet more of the Adwal women and see more of their products (which to their delight she purchased). Found out from Zahra that the Ministry Craft Fair in Fes was postponed to next week and I’ll try to get there on my way back from Rabat.

Headed home to buy veggies for fajitas and tonic for G&Ts, had Pete over for dinner and rummicube and made it an early night before getting up to pack and start the journey to Marrakech.

Long 7 hour journey made longer by a strange interaction w/woman in the car we were riding in. She made a very big fuss when she and her son got on the train in Rabat that Pamela and I weren’t in our proper seats. Fine, we’ll move our stuff. Now we can’t sit together. Oh, then she says, you can sit together. Huh? Forget it. Then she shuts the air vent. We ask that we keep it open. She brings in the train guy to shut it and lock it shut. Huh? Then she shuts the door so we have absolutely no air and mutters something about “Americans” under her breath to her son. Note-now the 2 empty seats are by she and her son and they aren’t sitting next to one another either. What was that all about?

Good baraka starts w/our arrival in Marrakech. I’ve learned from past experience-not gonna let the taxi drivers get me down-will pay up to 30DH to get to the riad. Immediately have a driver willing to take us. Get to our riad and it’s very nice-great room, wifi, TV, breakfast incl., rooftop deck and spa. Am I in Morocco? Hamdullah.

We head out for fresh air, a walk and dinner. Make our way thru Jmaa el Fnaa-needs to be seen at night. Head back to a restaurant that Lindsay and I ate at last week. G&Ts, olives and a warm eggplant salad that I’d die for. Yum. Back in room, ready for bed, putting finishing touches on this message to post before turning out the lights. Leyla saida.

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