Monday, August 30, 2010

These Are The People In My Neighborhood (ala Mr. Rogers)

The bakery and cafe across from us.
Oh, these are the people in my neighborhood, in my neighborhood, in my neighborhood! I can just hear Mr. Rogers faintly singing that song as I think about our afternoon walk here today. 

Let me backtrack a little to the beginning of our day. We drove into school very early; most people were snuggled in their beds since they were up all night. After setting up some things with our car insurance, which is a story unto itself(didn't realize we needed insurance until someone said, Hey if the police stop you ; they will tow your car if you have no insurance.....our car doesn't have insurance? No, you need to get some. Oh.).....

As I was saying, after getting car insurance, we headed back home to let the sweet cleaning ladies into our place for the day. We also asked them to make us dinner, and we gave them the supplies. They really brightened up when we said we wanted the traditional moroccan couscous. They were all over that.

Now, you may think we are living high on the hog with cleaning ladies, but it is a big help to this economy to hire these gals for a few dollars each week. ($8.00 each) We are blessing the ladies, and they are blessing us with a dust/sand free house and a meal that will last a couple of days.  Please see the pictures of the cool pot for cooking the entire meal! The top part has the couscous in a steamer, and the bottom part has the veggies and chicken. We hope to hire them every 10 to 14 days.

After having our delicious, authentic Moroccan dinner, we decided to walk the neighborhood. It's a BIG decision to walk around here with Ramadan in full swing. None of the women are about because they are cooking their little hearts out for the men and kiddies. 
So, Jill and I walked the streets of our little corner of the world. In one hnoot(shop) I tried to get my cell phone working. All of a sudden about 8 guys decided it was time to frequent that hnoot and pack in there with me. Hmmm. No one bats an eye when I walk into a tiny T-mobile kiosk in the USA.

Well, I plowed my way out of that shop and we came upon the pillow shop. Three guys were sewing pillows in there. They gave us permission to take their pictures. They are really colorful, swanky pillows for just a hole in the wall shop. We were finally realizing that we were walking down our main street with lots of little shops! 

Mixed in with all this frivolity was a lovely, new bakery with amazing french pastries and those triangular shaped pockets of dough filled with meats or veggies. I admit the pastry and coffee i had back at home after the walk was out of this world....well out of this part of the world! After the pastry shop, we headed to the pharmacy just to see it for future reference. It was next door to a dry-cleaners. Yep, we even have  a dry-cleaners here, and who would know?

On the return home, we did see the usual empty lots with garbage, rocks and gross, emaciated cats. It is jarring and hard to find such beauty one minute and then ugliness the next in our neighborhood. One easily sees fantastic, bright hibiscus flowers along with cactus near the areas of garbage.

The hibiscus beauty reminds me of God's faithfulness for all time in all places. He is steadfast, certain and His love is steadfast as well. Even here in my neighborhood.

The call to worship began just as we returned home, all praise to God, and we saw the men rushing to pray in the tent below our bedroom windows. This time, I tried to catch a picture of the men's shoes. It is fascinating to watch the men show reverence just like in the Old Testament when Moses took off His sandals when he was speaking with God.  When seeing the long gowns the men wear, I feel like I am in Bible times sometimes. 
Well, that's my neighborhood!


  1. It is so fun to hear of your adventures. Still so new and unique. I am glad you are feeling better . and I am happy for you and Jill to be roomies and share in theses new experiences.have fun!

  2. Marcia: Enjoy the messages from Morocco! Glad that you and Jill are having a fun time. Hope you have a good class! LOVE, DAD