Monday, August 23, 2010

Daily Summer Life

So I managed to get to Fes on Friday just in time for l-ftr. I mean just in time. As in I managed to flag down the only taxi still running. Everyone in Fes was eating/drinking. We sped all the way across town, including blowing through stop lights, because there was no other car on the road-in all of Fes. Had to sit outside the locked door of the hotel until they’d finished eating before checking in. Normal Ramadan life.

Saturday I got up to head over to Marjane (as close as Morocco gets to a Target) to get a number of items. Got there around 9am, figuring that they’re big enough, they’d be open. Nope. Didn’t open until 10, and by that time I was joined by about 30 others who also were unclear on Ramadan hours. Normal Ramadan confusion.

I did buy the Adwal women a digital camera. PCV Ali from down south has one that she was going to donate to the Coop, but I’ve not managed to get it and the next opportunity won’t be until late September. Since I don’t know its condition and need to train the Adwal women, esp. Nora and Ferida, how to use it, I don’t want to wait until the last minute. Thus this purchase which will be my gift to the Coop.

I then went on a lamp hunt. In Morocco, buildings are finished with bare light bulbs hanging from the ceiling and most people leave them as is. This is the case in Adwal’s new showroom that’s nearing completion. I decided to get them traditional Moroccan light covers-carved brass-that were going to need some modifications. I finally struck a good deal deep in the medina, and dragged my sorry ass back uphill to Boujeloud, got my computer and parked same sorry ass for several hours at Café Clock to use their wi-fi. It’s where I can eat and drink during the long Ramadan day-and it was so blazing hot out that I needed the water. Note-cafes do not have a/c in the medina. I had a chance to quickly Skype w/Debbie and wish nephew Philip a Happy Birthday ‘live’. Nice.

I also managed to finally connect w/the woman who makes goat cheese out of Meknes. She wants me to come and see/talk with her before bringing the ATPF Association women out to see her. I need schedule this, as it would be SO much easier to get the Association’s questions answered in Meknes vs the long trip down to Ouarzazate. Inshallah I can put this together.

I decided to stay another night in Fes and sleep in the luxury of the a/c at the Boujeloud Hotel-for 150 DH, it’s quite a deal (that’s about $20).

Yesterday bright and early I headed back down to Place Seffarine in the old Fes medina to pick up the light covers. Hamdullah they were ready for me and the changes had been made. Now I hope the Adwal women will pay a few DH to have them installed in the showroom. I was about as hot as I could get by the time I made my way back up and out of the medina, grabbed my bags and headed for transport back home.

Once home I headed to the rooftop to do laundry. Really it was an excuse to get wet in cool water. It did the trick and my huwaj smells fresh and clean. Got the house all cleaned up-switched out my neighbors siddari that keep breaking-meaning my bed mattress is now on the floor and those siddari are under my salon ponges. Nice to have the house all cleaned up.

Khalid (ex-tutor) and his new wife Siham came over a bit later to share their wedding photos with me. Khalid had downloaded them (200+) on my USB yesterday at Café Clock, but it’s much better to look at them w/the 2 of them. I asked Siham how many outfits/jellaba she wore. She told me 6. Looking at the pictures, we counted 7. She forgot one! This is very typical of a Moroccan wedding. The photos are beautiful and I was relieved to find that a friend of theirs was the photographer so they got a good discount on printing all those photos. Unfortunately (but perhaps fortunate for me), they forgot to bring the video. It is also a Moroccan custom to show your wedding video to whoever comes to visit. And it’s mostly of people sitting around the room staring at the camera, not talking. They’ve invited me for l-ftr next Sunday, so perhaps I’ll see it then. I also walked them through my place to show them what I was planning on giving them when I leave-it will be my wedding present to them, as they’re starting from scratch.

Hamdullah, Khalid was also able to put his computer expertise to work for me. I showed him how my fixed internet line had been snapped when one of the girls tripped on it last weekend. I was bemoaning how long it was going to take Maroc Telecom guys to come out and repair it. One kitchen knife later and Khalid had my internet line fixed. God bless his parents!

Now it’s Monday souk day, and I need veggies, but I’m gonna wait until late afternoon when they shut that down and bring the leftovers back to the village-too hot to go traipsing around souk. Invited Pete over for dinner-good excuse to cook and we need to catch up.

Meanwhile, as I catch up on emails, I received an amazing note from Trish from Uganda. They’ve brought home one of the orphans from the “Rehabilitation”/Prison for a week. They’re feeding Angela, getting her medical attention. Fortunately she’s not HIV +, but has TB, Malaria, amoebas, UTI, a respiratory infection and is severely malnourished. Three years old and only 16 lbs. This is a lucky girl to have the nourishing help of the Manarin family, if only for a week. The work of this amazing family continues. Bless them.

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