Saturday, May 24, 2008

ROAD TRIP

Sunday May 18, 2008

I know these pictures are small, but you should be able to click on them and enlarge them to see details. Like the smithy taking a picture of me with his cell phone while I am taking a picture of him.
Today's Sunday Drive Destination is Taroudant. A walled city of 60,000 people. The most famous resident is the Ex- President of France, Jaques Chirac.

It is a 1 hour journey to the quaint city of Taroudant.

A nice city with a new military installation......
And very old walls and gates. Taroudant is called the "Grandmother of Marrakech" because it is a scaled down, slowed down town that resembles Marrakech with it's surrounding ramparts. Unlike Marrakech, Taroudant contains almost the whole city within it's walls. Taroudant is known for it's jewelry and carpets. It's a much more relaxed place to purchase these items.


Some gates are very old and not for vehicle use.


Other gates are newer.....
Before we ever entered the gates of the city a young man who spoke English found us and offered to give us a tour. His name was Hassan, and he was a wonderful tour guide.


He showed us things we never would have known about if he hadn't been there. Like this nice shady place which is actually the parking garage for your tired ... er.......uh, Donkey, after you make the long journey into town from the country.


I saw this shop and thought of my daughters. It is a real Moroccan shoe store.

And this is the blacksmiths shop. Somethings may seem a little primitive to us, but they all have cell phones!
Children playing in the 'street' outside their house.

Then I saw this little fellow watching us..... Hassan explained what the pile of wood was.


They us it in this bakery......
Where every morning they fire up this oven and bake the bread. And believe me, the bread is delicious.
Dates and figs and other fruits from the region.



Hassan also pointed out cool architecture, like this cool plaster entry.

The above picture is of the ancient Jewish quarter of Taroudant.

I don't know how short the Jewish people were, but they didn't need very big doors. :-)


He took us to and all natural pharmacy. Here is the Pharmacist.

And their homemade herbal remedies.


Here are ladies of the pharmacy makeing Argan Oil.

We went to the carpet sellers and saw many other things, but I already have too many pictures on this blog. We left town hoping to come back on a Saturday so we can buy silver or shoes or rugs, and walk on the old walls.
As we left town we said goodbye to the billboard of the King, Mohammed the VI.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Atlas Mountains

The Saturday Drive.
On Saturday May 3rd we went for a drive up in the Atlas Mountains. The road was very twisty, lots of hair pin turns, and no guard rails. It was very beautiful and cool. Literally. Here are some pictures of the mountians in Morocco. Below:
The picturesque town of Imi Irhzer
There are pictures from a few years ago of the beautiful waterfall beside the town of Imouzzer. But they have had no rain for over 3 years and so the cascade is nothing but a small trickle into a pool at the bottom. You can see the smooth rock where the water usually runs though. It is 45 Meters high. And people used to jump from it. The drive to the falls took us 2 1/2 hours and was beautiful.
Taking her grain either home or to the mill ........I guess.
In the mountains the construction leaves a lot to be desired. Just rocks and mud. This was the typical construction in 1960 in most of morocco. Now I can understand why an earthquake in 1960 destroyed almost every building in Agadir.
The Reservoir. Cody's filming and narration of the dam was hilarious! "Here is the dam bridge, and the dam fence" etc. Then when he went to watch it we heard..."oh no.... I forgot to push the record button on my dam video!" :-)


Just a tree in the Paradise Valley

There is a beautiful restaurant right behind those dose.
The edge of the road.... no guard rails.
See what I mean?
Have a great day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Sandstorm

Yesterday, at about 10:00 in the morning the wind started to blow. By noon it was howling and it picked up even more and blew all day. We were working down in a pit on the collection tunnel and it literally rained dirt, rocks and sand on us all day.




video


The video of Cody was taken at about 4:30. Cody remarked it was like being in the movie, "The Mummy". I laughed and then when we got home we could see where the sand had blown in under and around the door and through the shutters. Hmmmm.. Maybe I should go and try to find a cat.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Funny Lunch

A couple of weeks ago when I posted pictures of our trip to Essouaria, I mentioned that Darryl and Cody's lunches were, ......well, kind of funny. I thought I had better explain what I meant. We looked at the English menu and consulted our waiter about different menu items. Darryl and Cody's eyes were immediatley drawn to that most manly of meals. Hamburgers and French Fries. One entry caught their eye. The Rock Burger! A very filling double meat hamburger. Of course, being in a foreign country it is only right that you eat their traditional foods. Since they had never had a "Rock" Burger in the States, it must be a traditional food. Right?


We waited while they went out and killed whatever critter supplied the meat. (Okay.. we waited for a long, long, long...... you get the idea. And finally the famous Rock burger arrived. We were wondering why they felt the need to cut a chunk out of the bun and fill it with ketchup (a condiment that Darryl doesn't like and never eats) when Darryl lifted this "lid" off, there was the "Double" of his double meat. It was a tiny hamburger about the size of a silver dollar!
They both just stared in disbelief and I stifled my laughs enough to snap this picture before he ate it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Moroccan Tradition

Couscous Friday!

In Morocco it is a tradition to eat couscous on Friday. It is their Holy Day and this is really pretty easy to make....... if you have the right pot. It is basically a 7 vegetable beef stew that is boiled in a pot while the couscous is in a steamer over the top of the stew. And yes, it is served in a large community dish. Cody loves this kind of couscous having had it at Aziz's house last Friday. Joe was a little hesitant at first, but soon was digging in like the rest of us. My sweet maid taught me how to make this dish (Darryl was late for dinner because he was in a meeting).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Quiet Sunday

Sunday's are a little different here. We hold Church Services in our own home. Darryl, Cody, myself and Joe Clarkson. Each taking turns giving talks, teaching lessons, praying, leading the hymns, etc. Sometimes Sacrament meetings are pretty short, but the discussions we get into during our "class time" make up for it.

On Saturday night we bought some meat, Dad and Luis bought beef. Joe bought...hmm... we think it was either goat or camel, we're not sure. Anyway, Sunday evening the Mexicans fired up the grill and we all enjoyed Carne Asada with home made Salsa and flan. (I bought the flan, I don't have the utensils or pans to make one.) Can I just make my daughters and sons a little jealous here by telling them the food was delicious!? Luis was cooking and you know how good that is!

It was very hot Sunday and so the garden was a nice place to escape the heat.

I complained because Cody never shows his teeth when he smiles and he has such good teeth. (After all of his accidents and 4 of his older sisters needing braces, I am just glad he still has teeth and they are straight!) What did I get for complaining? He is smiling, but look at his eyes. Are they full of mischief or it's that a, "I really hate this" look!

Sunset up at the ruins.

This little boy's name is Yassir. He was up at the ruins and was a little fussy and tired. Darryl had a couple of pieces of candy, and I asked his mother if I could give him some. She said yes, and I made a new friend. After a few minutes Yassir (who is 2) came over to me and raised up on his toes with his arms stretched up and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

I Love Children!


Yassir and his mother, Samir, and his dad.