Yes, I did meet the U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Riley, on Thursday, albeit very briefly. He arrived in Meknes with a security escort, and all the automobiles usually parked in the area around the American Language Center were not allowed there during the visit. He came to the ALC to hand out scholarships to some of the students. Most, or all, were in needy circumstances but are very good in their academic studies. There were 33 of them, along with several VIP Moroccans, including Mr. Haddachi, Tariq (ALC director), several teachers, and many people from the press. John, the RELO, Hakim, his assistant, and Evelyn, PAS Officer, were also there from Rabat. It was pretty crowded. I hear that the event was supposed to have been on TV last night, but I couldn’t get any reception on my set. One of these days I’m going to have to get a satellite dish. I also met another American teaching at the ALC, Jillian from New Hampshire. I didn’t really get a good chance to talk to her at length, so I’ll have to look her up later.
It’s a very nice day here and the 15 minute walk to the market had me sweating a bit. I decided to walk, rather than take the bike. Usually traffic in this section of town is heavy and I didn’t feel like fighting it today. It turned out to be pretty light, though, so I probably would have had a leisurely ride. Still, I ended up playing “bullfight” with the cars. Pedestrians in Meknes pay no heed to traffic lights or traffic, for that matter. Just walk when you can, avoiding any oncoming vehicles, some of which come close to grazing you. I play the game, too, though carefully. Just trying to fit in. The drivers here are not nearly as discourteous as those in Korea; they seem to be more aware of pedestrians and bicycles.
Also, I’ve posted the Volubilis photos in the gallery. Take a peek, if you’re so inclined.
The World Series starts tonight. Since I’m unable to watch the games live, due to national blackout restrictions, I’ll watch them the day after on MLB.com. As I’ve already mentioned, I’ll be rooting for Chicago. More later.