Hey everybody, we are in Morocco. A flight from Chicago to New York and then again to Madrid, Spain put us just a few hours from some friends of mine in Salamanca, Spain. And what do you do in Spain? Why, drink wine in a box, of course....
Now, granted, there is wine in a box in the US, but have you ever seen it in the little soymilk type of waxed paper carton, I think not... And everyone says the Europeans are so cultured. I still have my doubts.
What else do you do? Well you can always visit the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca. The night time illumination is definitely the best time to see this spectacle.
The ancient gothic cathedral is best seen during the day, however. It is one of the few gothic cathedrals that is not completely dark and dismal, but rather has a huge dome filled with windows that lets in spectacular light.
Now transmitting from Morocco...
This is a small village we stopped in on the way from the coast. Instead of whitewashing everything, which is common other places, a Jewish refugee (a long time ago, though I don't remember when) started the use of a blue dye in his whitewash. Now, the entire medina of this town is a pale, ghostly blue. Quite an amazing sight.
While beautiful and amazing, Morocco still has a hard street life for many people. Hopeful immigrants from all over west Africa come to Morocco with the hopes of making it to Europe for a better life. Some work hard and wait for legal papers to make it over to Europe (or as one Brit told me, "they're just waiting for a leaky boat and a dodgy geezer"). Some beg in the streets. Still others just don't make it at all.
But as for Jessica and I, we are in Midelt, Morocco. A small-ish town on the edge of the Sahara, in the mid-Atlas mountains. We are slightly ill as we adjust to all the new food, bacteria, water, etc., but in general we are fine and eager to begin learning. Look for another upddate soon, very soon, along with pictures of our new home.
Afterward from Jess:
Last night a family we were breaking the fast with took advantage of my lack of Moroccan language and told me that I needed to wear tighter fighting shirts... Cory (the friend we're staying with) relayed the message and we laughed... oh, these mountain men!!!
Otherwise, things really are going great and we're learning... we met with the women Cory is working with (who make Berber blankets, sweaters, etc.), a man who is working with an NGO locally, and have been shown around town... oh my... what a day our first day has been!
Overall, things are going great - Ramadan is good, breaking the fasts are even better and old men are hitting on me left and right... what more could I ask for?