Monday, April 28, 2008

Saturday Surprise

Saturday we spent a couple hours at the beach waiting to see if the winds would change so Cody could take his first Kite-surfing lesson. The winds did not change, so the lesson never materialized. But the beach was fun. Dad and Cody went bodyboarding for a while.
In the late afternoon we went for a drive up in the Atlas mountains
After 40 minutes we came around the corner and BAM! A beautiful oasis right in the middle of nowhere. It was quite lovely and very picturesque.

We took a different route home and I thought I might be back home in Menan.... except the temperature was quite warm and these are goats, not sheep. They still like to block the road though.
The is a view of may grain fields, believe it or not. They do not cut down the Argan trees in their fields, they simply plow and sow around them. (which is easier when using oxen, or mules or doing it by hand). I have seen very few tractors in the countryside.

Sunset in the mountains.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

ROAD TRIP! Touring Essaouira

Last Saturday we went up the coast 3 hours to the town of Essaouira. It was a very winding drive but it was worth it. The following 6 posts are pictures of the old Arab part of town built in the late 1600's called the Medina, The coast of Africa and other interesting things we saw while on this trip. The Medina is completely surrounded by walls. (and the rest of the town) This is the outside wall and some typical gates.

One of the wider streets. And yes, people still live and work entirely within the Medina. (Several thousand people to be exact.) You can also stay at hotel's within the Medina.

Sometimes the streets get a little narrow. Some streets are lined with shops, others are just residences.

Sites on the Streets

This is one of the open squares. My lunch was good. Dad's and Cody's was funny.

The Carpet dealers street.

An artisan at work. He probably lives in the rooms behind his shop.

The Kasbah or Old Fortress....

This is the "devil door" as I call it. It is only 4 feet tall and while coming down the stairs just inside the door and watching where I was stepping..(you don't want to know) I hit my head and almost knocked myself out!

The cannon are stamped from Barcelona Spain in the 1600's and 1700's.

The guys have been checking out the ocean from the ramparts.

There are now shops inside the old ammunition storage.

It is all part of the medina.

The Coast of North Africa

The Reason My Hair Is Turning White....

The landscape.....

A typical field of grain.

Women harvesting the grain. It makes me think of the story of Ruth in the Bible.

A field after the grain harvest.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sites, Smells and Sounds

On Thursday we drove to the top of the mountain where the old medina (city) was before the earthquake of 1960 completely destroyed it, and I took this picture of the moon as the sun set from the ruins of the Kasbah (fort) over looking the present city of Agadir. The souk, or market is where you get the best prices on fruits and vegetables. I have learned that fresh fruits and vegetables are in season right now and therefore pretty cheap and delicious.
It is probably where you get the best price on fresh cut meat too, but I will probably never know. The stench is so strong that we tend to stay away from this part of the souk. We buy our meat at the Marjane which is like a small super Walmart. All meat here is very expensive as I think it is all imported from Argentina or someplace. Hamburger is $4.00+ a lb. Steaks start at $7 or $8, Bacon is $7+ per lb. if you can find it. Chicken isn't too bad and goat and lamb are readily available at a cheaper price than beef. I just don't know how to cook it.
This is a regular site for us on our way to work. The camel herds grazing by the highway. "What are they grazing on", you might ask? Well, this is a field of grain that was harvested a day earlier and they are grazing on the stubble. I know what you are thinking, and you are right... they do not have grain fields anything like the USA. The grain is very sparse, barely a foot tall and it is all harvested by hand. I will post more grain pictures tomorrow. Whenever we are around camels it seems that I always hear them before I see them, and they are really huge animals!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Tour of the House Part 2......

The entry to the house Darryl loves the ceilings here.
Cody's room
the master bedroom
I tried to post the Laundry/patio here but it wouldn't come out. Oh well. It is a walled in patio with a little tiny washer on it and a clothes line.....

House tour continued.....

The Gates From the inside
Looking downstairs to the garden...
the garden gate.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Home life in Morocco

This is the house that Haj built. But it was his second home as he has another in a town 50 miles away. He has leased this to Dome for 6 months. It is three apartments on three levels. We live on the top floor. It is the smallest and the hottest, which suits Darryl just fine. The Basement level is 10 degrees cooler.
On Tuesday Darryl's new computer arrived. We let Cody figure it out and then he taught us how to use all the new fangled stuff. He is sitting in the "salon" as they call it here. We just call it the living room. The front balcony is off of this room.

The maid service is no more. I am now the maid, and the cook and the washer woman.

This is my little kitchen, the fridge is on the right, stove on the left and small back balcony out of the kitchen door.

This is the Toilet. .............. enough said.


Actually, that is the toilet just off the stairs to the Garden. Most people here employ guards to stay at there homes when they are away. The guards sleep in small rooms inside the gate but outside the main house. This would be the Guards facilities.

TA DA!!!!
Yes, there is a real potty to the left, but it does have a traditional spicket/hose thing in case you don't like using the toilet paper. Hmmm. Go figure. Anyway, this is part one of our little house tour.