Friday, August 20, 2010


I had l-ftr (break-fast at sundown during Ramadan) with my CBT host family last night. Now of course, I hadn’t fasted all day, so wasn’t that hungry and you should have seen the spread before us. I’m talkin’ apple/milk juice, orange/carrot juice, dates, shbekya (fried dough slathered in honey), harira (the traditional Ramadan soup of Morocco-and all other Harira in Morocco are measured against Khadija’s), bread, hard boiled eggs, cake, fried fish, fat bread (kinda like a thin vegetable calzone) flan, hot sweet milk /w Nescafe. Despite my modest appetite, I managed to still be full several hours later-it’s food that really fills you up. All of this consumed w/Khadija, Driss (who did his usual slurp of Harira, dates and off to the café for the night), Ahelan and Ayoub. All in their newly decorated salon, served w/new zwin pitchers. Tbarkalikum.

We (the 7 of us here in Ain Leuh for “Adult Summer Camp”) had been down earlier in the day to the Coop while I did a workshop on Product Quality/Development and took them through the requirements to attend the Santa Fe International Folk Art Festival. They didn’t know what it would cost them, even if they were accepted and received funding to attend the Fair. I walked them through all of those costs, as well as the volume of product they’d have to produce to take with them to make it worthwhile. I think they got a lot to think about, but at least they’ll now be making an informed decision. Hopefully they are able to attend either next year or the year following, as I think they’d do amazingly well w/their beautiful work.

I also got to see the progress that Khadija has made on the hanbel that she’s weaving for me. Inshallah it will be done before we leave. The intricacy of the design can take one of the weavers 4 months to complete a 1.5 x 2 meter hanbel. Angie also ordered a hanbel for Khadija to make.

Anyway, once we were done with the workshops, Khadija invited all 7 of us over for l-ftr. I told her it would only be me, but if others decided to come as well, I’d give her a call. So of course I felt bad when I realized once I arrived last night that she had indeed cooked for all of us. However, I also know that they’ll manage to eat all the food-nothing goes to waste around here.

The worst news of the day by far was that Lisa’s camera was stolen. Every morning several of the group has been going out blackberry picking (“camp” is scheduled to coincide w/Ramadan and berry season). They were up on the main road thru town, picking on a large bush. Lisa had put down her camera and berries with her sweater on top. Now during Ramadan, there’s no one around a 7am-they’re all sleeping. Someone managed to come up to the other side of the bush and take the camera w/o Lisa seeing them. And her’s is a fabulous camera. Fortunately she has insurance on it, and spent the greater part of the day (and a couple hours last night) filing a report w/the gendarmes and getting a copy to send to her insurance carrier. We told everyone we saw in town all day long about the theft and to be on the lookout for the camera. It definitely will stand out-not one that you’d typically see in Morocco, especially in the countryside.

I should have counted the # of jars of blackberry jam that they ended up making out of all the berries picked. I don’t know how they’ll get through it all before we leave. Most impressive! And of course, we ate blackberries at nearly every meal (cooking and eating being a focal point of Adult Camp)-on French toast, cheesecake, ice cream, smoothies-you name it, we ate it!

Fortunately for Jon, Colin came over in the afternoon from Azrou (1/2 hr away) to keep him company and raise the testosterone ratio. This was after we made him join us for a group pedicure (only one banyo or bucket) while watching downloaded Project Runway (I’d downloaded 3 episodes of the most recent season).

So Camp 2010 is over, the summer heat is back and all but Angie and I have left, and we’ll be heading out in a couple of hours. She’s returning to her site and I’ll be going home via overnight in Fes. I’ve got some things I need to check out there and will head home tomorrow morning when I can get a direct taxi (vs having to wait for and take 5 different transits to get home from Ain Leuh).

1 comment:

B said...

ooh, keep in touch and let me know if your ladies make their way to Santa Fe. I'll be taking my mom to the festival next summer!