May 29-June 3rd: My parents decided to visit Morocco and I. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen them in person. Sometimes Skype just isn’t enough.
We stayed a night in Casablanca before heading down to my site.
Fancy Bathroom in Casablanca
Mom, Dad, and I
Fancy Hotel in Casabanca
Breakfast was delicious!
Busing it down to site.
Once in my site we ate soooo much food! My parents cannot handle a lot of carbs but they enjoyed themselves anyway. Mom was fascinated by everything. I was happy they were able to see my suq. It’s nothing super special but there’s a lot of variety for a small town.
My Moroccan Parents and My American Parents
Mom was surprised to see turkeys at suq
Mom took pics of everything including the post office
Mom loved the donkey parking lot.
Truck full of gas tanks
Of course we had couscous
Mom and Dad dressed as Amazighs
Mom in a Lizar
Down by the river…
On Tuesday, we went to Merzouga. We were supposed to going camel trekking by we went during the low peak time and the camels were only going in the evening. We climbed the dunes, gathered some sand to take home, and had tea. We went to Rissani for lunch and Mom did some shopping and bought a pink kiftan. Later on their last day in at Casablanca, Mom also bought a jebador and some other outfits and souvenirs.
Traditional mill grinder
Relaxing by the pool?
Their last night in, we ate Hirrara, washed off the sand from the desert, and hopped on a night bus back to Casablanca.
This was a new experience. I’ve never taken blood pressure before. Of course, I’ve had my own taken by a nurse or doctor for check ups and I never understood what the numbers meant. As long as the doctor said it was good, then that’s all I needed to know.
I was the first volunteer to arrive the Wednesday before the Rose Festival for the TOT, Training of Trainers. The training was simple enough, thank goodness. There were other volunteers who did this last year or at some other festival. We had electronic as well as manual machines. The electronic ones were so simple: wrap it around the wrist or upper arm, turn it on and let it do its magic. The wrist machine was awesome to have for taking women’s blood pressure since it didn’t force them to push their sleeves up too much or need to remove clothing.
I actually enjoyed using the manual devices once I had some practice with them. I felt so official; like I was a real nurse or something. We, the volunteers, were asked other medical questions since the Moroccans thought we were real doctors. We had to recommend to them to go to the hospital or clinic for their questions.
Besides the Rose Festival, Kelaa M’Gouna is known for its Dagger Co-operatives. They make the traditional curved daggers and swords, that were used by the Amazigh people. I bought several for myself, family and friends.
Since my parents are coming at the end of May, I convinced them to take a suitcase full of souvenirs home with them. First stop is Taznakht for carpets and rugs. My staj mate, Nia lives here and helped me find the co-operatives that sold the carpets and had good prices. I went to Taznakht thinking I would get 3-4 carpets…I bought 9. However, I did end up reselling two to other volunteers. I knew I wanted relatively small carpets meaning no more than 2 meters maximum and that’s pushing it.
All of the carpets pictured below are ones that I bought:
*MAD: Moroccan Dirham- about 9.6 to $1 and 10 to 1 Euro
*Double Face: meaning it looks the same of both sides so it doesn’t matter which side is up.