Yes, I did go to Fes last Thursday to do the workshop with the Peace Corps volunteers. There were 10 participants, all sharp and eager, as most PC volunteers are. I do enjoy working with them whenever I can. It was my first journey in a Moroccan taxi, and it reminded me quite a bit of my bush taxi adventures in Benin during my time in the Peace Corps. Six passengers were crammed in, 2 in front (plus the driver) and 4 in the back, but it wasn’t bad since it’s only about a 45 minute drive from Meknes to Fes, and it only cost about $2. It was a beautiful day and I would have liked to stay in Fes for a few hours after the workshop, but I was lugging around 40 pounds of books and I had to get back to Meknes, since I was expecting a fax from the Embassy in Rabat concerning reimbursement for my trip to Marrakech some time ago to do a similar workshop. Below are a few pictures of the volunteers, and if any volunteers or friends and family want to see more, click HERE.
After a couple of days of cold and rain, yesterday was gorgeous–mild temperature (about 55) and fluffy clouds cruising across the blue sky. For some reason, when it rains and I stay inside, I find that my pants start shrinking. Perhaps it’s something in the water when I wash them (or in the pastries 😉 ). At any rate, I decided to get some exercise and take a bike ride into the countryside. With all the rain, the vegetation is greening up very nicely. I got kind of a late start, leaving around 2:30 p.m., so I didn’t go a long way out, perhaps 3 miles beyond the edge of the city. That’s not counting the 5 or 6 miles from my apartment to the edge of the city. I brought along my small, somewhat crappy digital camera, not my good Canon, so if the photos are not up to snuff, that’s my excuse. Here’s a few and there are a couple more on the Photo Gallery. This week’s weather is forecasting sunny skies and temperatures approaching 70 degrees, so I plan to make a more extended ride soon.
This young man is watching over his family’s flock of sheep. He looks pretty serious. There are quite a few people here who don’t like getting their picture taken. This kid was ok with it, but I gave him a couple of dirhams anyway.
According to an Indian newspaper, 4,000 Moroccans demonstrated in Rabat over the “cartoon crisis.” I’ve also read that one of the Rabat papers printed an editorial that slammed the French and called for boycotting their products, but another one actually published one of the cartoons and is now under investigation. I also saw this quote on the BBC News website:
“They want to test our feelings,” protester Mawli Abdul Qahar Abu Israra told the BBC. “They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not. Death to them and to their newspapers,” he said.
No comment necessary. Meknes, though, has been quiet, as far as I know. There has probably been as much outrage over the football team’s early exit from the Africa Cup. More later.