Friday, May 05, 2006

a short update

I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Marrakech Morocco. In the interest of time I'll post a few excerpts from my last two emails home along with a couple of pictures.

"After we ate Marc, Jay, me and Dave all went for a beauty walk. We checked out a couple of shops, found an internet connection,(that was when we talked) and found some bank machines. We eventually found this cool market area set up with tents. That's the picture of Marc with his camera.

There was some pretty cool stuff in there. I have no idea what kind of thing you might like. I'm thinking jewellery but I'm not sure what colours or anything. I'll find something you love. Jason visited the guy with all the musical instruments. I got caught talking to another guy who invited me into his tent-shop to talk and have tea. So of course I said yes. He was interested in Canada and practising his English. He kept showing me all of the things in his shop he had made and what the significance of each item was. He came from a Berber/Nomad background and almost every piece he showed me had some sort of mystic meaning to it. I think he considered them selling features! He was real nice. Eventually the other guys joined us and we all had this awfully sweet tea together. It was almost unbearably sweet in fact. The with the turban is him with Dave behind and a big ugly flash. Marc got some great pictures of us in there talking that I'll have to get from him.

After lunch is was back to the van for an almost 2 hour trip south into the Atlas mountains to visit a Berber village. It was a beautiful drive. It scared the crap out of most people. We heard that the other van was singing hymns as they were driving up. On the way back, after the scariest sections the driver of the other van had to stop and have a smoke break!! It was pretty funny, and sort of dangerous. So we climbed up about 4500 feet to get to where we eventually ended up. There's no way I can really describe where we were too well. It felt like a dream or a movie set. It didn't feel like a place people actually lived. Anyway, we stopped driving and got out and walked uphill for the next 15-20min. We walked up this windy path through this "settlement" to reach the top where our hosts were. The pictures will explain the best.

When we reached the top we heard music. We walked into a hallway where we were greeted by two people. The first a girl with a tray of face clothes to wipe our faces with and the second was a man with perfume for us to put on our faces. They also had a tray of dates and figs and olives that we were supposed to eat as we entered. The perfume is apparently from the flower of orange trees. I need to ask about that again to be sure. We eventually all reached the top and there they had a very cool looking spread of pita-like bread with olive oil, butter, fig and apricot spread, nuts and of course the mint tea which I'm having trouble choking down. Mainly because of the sweetness. We sat and ate then they pulled out their drums again and began to sing and encouraged us to join. We played together for a while. I had my cornet out too. It was difficult to find any sort of tonal center to their songs but we would eventually land on something."


Kathryn 5/05/2006 11:03 AM  

that's the coolest, most exotic place!!!! wow. .

Have you have any tajine yet? with maybe couscous. . I'd love to buy a tajine to cook with. . they look so cool!

the photos here are great. .

Enjoy the rest of your trip!!!

Kathryn 5/05/2006 11:20 AM  

i almost forgot. . . have you seen any cool dancing yet? belly or otherwise? men over there belly dance, they say, even better than the women. . though i can't quite picture that!

maybe a group will dance during the festival? you know, those large groups like in the Bollywood shows on TV?!!! How cool would that be?!

Tracy 5/05/2006 1:07 PM  

Whoa....I really thought, even after watching the video from the library, and checking out the photos from the festival site, that you'd get there and just see a bunch of modern buildings. Were you expecting this?

Krista Lavender 5/05/2006 2:21 PM  

What an incredible life experience! It is just like something out of a movie, or a book - so few of us will ever actually get to experience that culture. I can't wait to hear all your stories!

Dale 5/08/2006 1:42 PM  

Kat is right, that sure seems like an exotic place. A definite memory maker for life. Great pics and commentary. Makes one almost feel like they are there with you.


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