Saturday, 3 May 2008

Morocco Part 5

I really hope no one's getting bored of these. I had fun. When I have fun, I take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

So, back to Morocco . . .

Another of our Moroccan Adventures was a trip out into a collection Berber villages. Dunia, one of the ladies who work for Naturally Morocco, is from a nearby village. She took us out to where she grew up and gave us a tour of several villages. The first one was a village where they make soap.

They'd had a number of chicks hatch a few days before. They were cute running around the patio area. One of our fellow travellers was a young man named Max. He's from London, and hasn't ever had much of a chance to see chicks or other farm animals. He really badly wanted to hold the little chicks, but was just a bit afraid of getting pecked, too. He also wasn't sure how to scoop them up. As a child I had the chore of going out and feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs every morning. I know chickens, young and old. They hold no fear for me. So I knelt down and scooped one up and handed it to him. He was well impressed. Wanted to know how I'd done it. So I showed him! By the end of a few minutes, he'd got the hang of things to the point where the chicks were all cuddled up on him, one even asleep in his hand!

Moving onward and upward (literally, it was quite a climb up the hill) we arrived at the second village. It was a pottery making village. They make all sorts of different pots. And lots of them! The way they make the pots is a bit different. I've never seen these big jugs made before, but the process was really interesting! They take a slightly smaller jug than the one they're trying to make, up end it, and make the base on it, like a mold. Then they let it dry in the sun. After it's dry, they take it off, and take the mold back inside and do it again, but instead of closing it off, for a base, they make a spout at the top. They take it outside and let it dry, and then put the two pieces together, sealing them somehow. Then finally they put them in the kiln. Pretty cool.

Finally, we walked up the rest of the hill and went to Dunia's family's house. Lois had not been able to find a good hat before she came out to Morocco. I'd bought one years ago in Rome which rolls up great. So after we'd been out in the sun all morning, I made Lois put my hat on. However, the sun was really bright out, and Cathy (another fellow traveller) was worried about me getting sunburned or sun stroke. So she lent me a scarf, and I wrapped it around my head. Loved the bright blue. Got to see if I can't find something in that colour.

Dunia's family welcomed us into their home. The first thing we had to do was take off our shoes and leave them outside. Then we went into a large room covered in lovely carpets, and lined with cushions. We sat down in the room, along the edges, and waited. Eventually one of Dunia's cousins came around with a kettle of cold water and a basin. She set the basin in front of each person, in turn, and poured water over their hands so they could wash up. I thought it was a terribly civilized custom! Then they brought in this large round table and laid it out with fresh made flatbread. You don't get silverware (or flatware for that matter!) at a Berber lunch. You use the flatbread to scoop up the food out of the tagine. I've decided I really like the Moroccan food. Usually they just gave us so much I couldn't eat it. However, this time, with one between 5, it was great! And after a bit of practice, you get the hang of the whole eating with your fingers thing. The tough thing is to get the big pieces of the potato or carrot with the flatbread without dropping anything!

After lunch Dunia came in to make, you guessed it, Mint Tea! She showed us the whole big long process. Note to LDS friends/family who go to Morocco: It was at this point that we found out that Morocco 'Mint' Tea is actually Mint and Green Tea! Oh the moral quandary this produced. Cheers!


Gardner Family said...

What an amazing trip!!! Yours and Lois's skirts are gorgeous. You look adorable in the hat with the chicks and oohh la la that blue scarf picture! I have decided Moroco is going on my list to do before I am 40!!!!! How amazing!!!!! PS I love flatbread! But I am sure my store bought is nothing compared to homemade moroccan! :) Leah ~ Your day has officially been seized!

Adele said...

Leah, you're great! :D I'm glad you've seized my day. When you do get to go to Morocco, let me know, and I'll fill you in on the things to do and places to go ;)

Heather said...

Sweet chickies story. One of my childhood chores was to feed the chickens and gather the eggs--didn't realize we had that in common!

The blue scarf and skirts are simply splendid.

Oops on the tea, huh? :) I've actually had a BYU prof recommend green tea with a few winks and nods--I think she said it was supposed to help with first-trimester nausea or headaches or something... Anyway, she justified it as "for medicinal purposes" :D (But I didn't try it).

Adele said...

Yeah, well you're not missing anything. It's terribly bitter! :P We drank it when we had to, rather than give offense. But I battled with myself every time thinking, if this was alcohol, I'd say no, out right. It was a tough call. When we could say no without offense, we did.