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November 2017
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Nothing New

Well, nothing happened with the barricades/traffic control bars. As a matter of fact, the next evening they came along and reloaded them into the truck without ever using them. Hmmmmm. Go figure.

Went walking today to the Centre Pedagogique Regional (CPR), my workplace when I do actually start working. I wanted to see how long it takes to get there on foot. About 30 minutes. I haven’t yet bought a bicycle, but I’m pretty sure tomorrow I’ll plunk down the dirhams for the one I’ve been scoping out. I went by the shop today, but it was closed. Many businesses are closed on Sunday, though it’s really no special day in an Islamic country. I think most places close this day in the ville nouvelle because of all the expats living and working here who treat Sunday as they would in their home countries, but I’m told that the medinah operates like it does on any other day, with all businesses open.

My Regional English Language Officer and his assistant, John Scacco and Hakim Boumert, are coming up from Rabat on Tuesday, and they are bringing with them the two boxes that I shipped from the U.S. Great! I’ll have my camera tripod, some extra clothes, books, music and software CDs, etc. It’ll be kind of like Christmas because I don’t remember all the things that I packed! Since the CPR classes don’t begin until Nov. 1, mainly because of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, so I’ve been told, I’m sure that John will find something for me to do. I’d like to do some traveling, but I’m also getting pretty bored and I’m chomping at the bit to get into a work routine. After all, that’s why I’m here.

Go Yanks! I’ve been able to watch or listen to all the games lately and this coming week should be exciting. I’m still using the wireless access point that I discovered, and I’ll keep using it as long as it remains a tenable connection. Sketchy at times, but free. More later.

Observations

I took a walk this evening, looking for a good vantage point to watch sunsets, and I found several great areas near the apartment, but out of the downtown core area. Tonight there was a gorgeous sunset, but, unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me. Hopefully, I’ll soon be posting more great photos of my favorite time of day.

Walking back to the apartment, just after sunset, I heard the call to prayer from a mosque nearby, and then, seconds later, from across the small valley, several mosques in the medinah echoed the call. The sound of the amplified voices blending in their sing-song chant was very exotic and beautiful, coming, as it was, from several directions.

Before coming to the apartment, I decided to stop at the patisserie (bakery) just across the street and pick up a baguette. What I didn’t know was that a couple of chocolate-cream filled donuts with my name on them were waiting to ambush me. Yummmmm!

Another thing I’ve noticed here, a comforting thing for me, is that roughly 25-30 per cent of the men are either bald or have receding hairlines. I’m not out of place in that respect, unlike Korea and southeast Asia, the hair capital of the world, where I and the Buddhist monks were the only ones, it seemed, with balding or completely bald heads. Refreshing, Morocco is. More later.

More on the Big ‘Quake

Here’s an interesting article about December’s big quake–it might give you an idea of just how big it was.

Another note about my potential job. All of these jobs sponsored by the State Department and administered by SIT are in Muslim areas or countries. It is an effort, begun in 1989, to improve America’s image in such areas, to show a “softer, gentler” side. A BBC article, “U.S. could win over Muslim world,” talks about just such an approach.