I can’t believe…

After attempting to try a series of blogs that are alike i.e. “the Canterbury Tales” (obviously with the ONE* post the series went really well, right?), I am now going to try a new series. The Canterbury Tales series is still a favorite idea of mine- but after attempting to write three or four posts I find myself waiting to actually post the blog because I want to add more details.

Take our mudir (director of the Dar Chabab), for example, he is such an animated and wonderful character! His antics are what make our day-to-day at the Dar Chabab not so mundane and dreary. He often calls and says… “Who are you?” , “Who is this?” (keep in mind, HE is calling ME) and I usually respond with “No One” and then he will ask, “Is this Tyler’s wife?” to which I usually say “No, Tyler left”. He chuckles and then gets on with the point of the phone call with the characteristic Moroccan phrase “Agh, shuf” (Translation: “Agh, look”) and then usually tells me to tell Tyler something. Anyway, the point is… the people in our life are so difficult to write just ONE* post about. The people with whom we interact have left such a big imprint on our lives, its like giving them a eulogy of sorts when we are still interacting with them on a regular basis! So, I still want to share all of those people with you- but I will have to figure out a different way.

ONWARD to a new idea….

“I can’t believe…..”

 I can’t take credit for the idea, I got it from one my favorite blogs that I follow (is 50 emails/day of other people’s blogs too much? I might be a little obsessed). But “I can’t believe…” posts are small little nibblies that will allow me to post some things on a regular basis without it having to be a million years long! SO…. here we go!

“I can’t believe…..”

“I can’t believe…..” that we have been here for more than a year. It is taking quite awhile for this idea to sink in. It seems like I had been waiting for this forever and then now it is here and I find myself saying… “WAIT! We only have a year left, that’s not enough time!”

“I can’t believe…..” that there is no rain in the forecast for the next week!!!! I wrote about about these last two things in my last post- BUT* that is how much I cannot believe them!!!!!!!!!!!! It is such a weird feeling being able to do laundry whenever we want!!! 

“I can’t believe…..” that these chickpea samosas I made last week were SO incredible! Tyler loved them- which means a LOT! And except for the whole frying thing- the ingredients, because I substituted mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower-are fairly healthy!photo

I (still) can’t believe…..” that in the center of town, every night there is a small little carnival. This carnival is for the little kids of Larache and includes those motorized Barbie and tractor cars, balloons, popcorn and PONIES! PONIES!!!! I kid you not! And do you know how those ponies get there? Their owners ride their bikes as the ponies jog along side them. Again, THERE ARE PONIES!

“I can’t believe…..” that I am drinking Hazelnut coffee this morning. It adds a whole new flavor to the day! Don’t tell me, I already know that pretty punny! Thank you for the deliciousness, Mama and Papa Duff!!!!!

“I can’t believe…..” that President Obama felt it was necessary to comment on a colleague’s appearance. And as a double…“I can’t believe…..” that people *ahem male senators/pundits* comment and essentially say that it is not that big of a deal. Okay, when commenting on a woman’s looks in a professional setting does not diminish her in ANY way professionally, we will talk. When considering women in the public eye and it has NOTHING to do with her makeup, outfits and how “fit” her arms might be….. then we will talk. But for now because people find the need to comment on those aspects, as if somehow they have anything to do with her intelligence or competence for a job, then those comments are disrespectful and absolutely unnecessary. This is all REGARDLESS of the fact that he is the president and he made the comment in incredibly public forum.

“I can’t believe…..” that we have the pleasure of knowing so many wonderful people here in Larache, including my wonderful tutor. My tutor is not only a great teacher but also the founder of the online news journal, Larache24.com. He works incredibly hard to make sure that the important issues are reported on, including those that live in extreme poverty here in Larache. Here is a link to a very touching video of a man who lives in the poorer part of Larache. In the video, the man talks about how his house is only 2 m by 2 m but how he still has a big enough heart to include a rabbit, birds and a cat into his family of 4 children and his wife.

Well, that’s all for the day!

Be kind to your neighbors!

Canterbury Tales- Our Mul Hanoot

So, a fellow PCV has decided to a word montage of the people in her life in Morocco! She is presenting the important people and what they mean to her life here to her readers- very similar to Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury tales. Although, hers are not as satirical… but rather a quick look into her relationship with the person. I have been inspired by her and will do a series of my own! It is strange to think about these specific people that we interact with on a regular basis- whom we did not know 6 months ago but have now taken a special interest in getting to know us, shwiya b shwiya.

I first want to introduce you to our mul hanoot (our local store owner)!

He is a kind older gentlemen that owns the only “grocery” store on our little street. Like most hanoots here in Morocco, a buyer is not able to browse the products…there is a large counter at the front of the store and you simply ask for anything that you need. Even though the store appears to be small, he has almost everything that we need from butter, milk, yogurt to even harder to find things like garlic bouillon cubes. We are even pleasantly surprised when he has something that we won’t think he will have… he also supplies us with our many vices like a liter of coke in a glass bottle, little strawberry gummies and an occasional bar of delicious Spanish chocolate. But he is more than just a provider….

We met him for the first time during our “limbo week” of having found an apartment but not yet having moved in. We stopped by to ask him the name of the street… our first impression of him was “Wow, he is grumpy and really difficult to understand!!!”. At first, he was impatient with our Arabic… and more impatient with us not knowing the prices for things. At one time, I “thought” that he might have said… “why do you live here if you don’t know the language!”. But little by little… over the past 5 months.. we have developed a relationship. He makes sure that we know the price for things…so we know that we aren’t getting ripped off, tells us to put our money away before we leave the store,  helps us with words, encourages us to speak Arabic (even to each other) and sometimes we even teach him some English words.

The most endearing moments have taken place when he inquires about our family and their health along with current events in the US like the election and Hurricane Sandy. I didn’t realize how much our daily interactions meant to me until this past week and a half when he was gone! We went to a friend’s site to help out with the Halloween party and when we came back- the store was closed (not a common occurence)! Then over the next couple of days… the store continued to be closed. It was not only the fact that we had to venture out for our daily needs but I began to worry that something had happened to him! Was he sick, had something happened to someone in his family, was he coming back? The panic started to spread… it is comfortable knowing that if we need something there is a place that we can go, close by! What if the store never opened again, would other mul hanoots make sure that we were getting a fair price?! But have no fear, things are all right in the world, while walking to the Dar Chabab for a meeting- the doors stood wide open and there standing in the doorway with his cup of tea— our dear mul hanoot! *sigh of relief* Life can continue again 🙂

In other news…. we have had some adventures!! Baking, traveling… here are some pictures from those!!!

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Above is a view from a fellow PCV’s backyard

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For one of the Halloween parties- I was a cat!

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Our fabulous new backpack cat carrier 🙂

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Tyler’s delicious pumpkin pie and mini cinnamon rolls!