Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ou est la Voiture? (Where is the car?)

Piet Mondrian fish by 5th grader - in process.
OK, this day, like many others has had its ups and downs, highs and lows, french and English, surprises and disappointments. It's Morocco!

I had a really good day teaching art in art world at my school. The kids were terrific, and I was blessed with their efforts, for the most part. One second grade teacher said she graphed the results of her students' favorite day, and art day (Monday) beat out all the other days INCLUDING Saturday and Sunday! She said it was because they have art on Monday! I was flabbergasted. Those kiddos have been missing art so much. How amazing that I get to be a part of bringing art-making to them!

I decided to have the fifth graders make interesting fish with warm colors on the fish and cool colors in the background, the water. They are still learning the color wheel and warm/cool colors. Red, orange and yellow are warm colors, blue, green and purple (mauve) are cool. So, I began the whole lesson with a large sketch of a fish on the projected screen. We went over the different fins, they seemed clueless, and I was thinking how my former first graders at Bear Creek would have blown them out of the (Atlantic) water with their knowledge of fins and gills.

After having them REALLY look at fish, I gave them ideas to decorate their fish. They could use henna patterns or mosaic patterns or any other cool patterns they could think up. It was painful at first, but they eventually got the hang of it. I have learned to have them practice on scrap paper first. Then, they can transfer a good idea on the nice drawing paper.

I also had a fabulous class with my sixth graders. We talked about warm and cool colors, and I had them draw a still life by first practicing pears on scrap paper. Then, I told them about thirds, and had them put the table in one third of the paper. After they drew the table lightly, I modeled the bowl, the two pears and the apple. We placed the pitcher
in the end, and I reminded them of the vase/face exercise we had done from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. There are lots of mirror images when one draws a vase, pitcher or bowl.

You are probably wondering about the lost car. Man, what a story.

After work, we got into the car, but the battery was dead. This has happened before, but , with the help of the newly organized over 45 year old club, (I haven't joined) the car was pushed down a hill, and someone started it for us as it was speeding down the incline. We hopped in and drove around for 1/2 hour. We ended up at Sunny Beach, and asked the guardians to please wash our newly enlivened car. They do car washes for people while they are on the beach. We had never done this, but, it was payday, and we splurged.  ($3.00)  We gave them the keys so they could move the car closer to the hose. 

After our walk and simple dinner by the beach, we headed for the car. It was nowhere  to be seen. We noticed an elderly man on a motorcycle and asked him where our car was. He whistled for the guardian. The guardian came running from fifty/hundred meters, and I said, Ou est ma voiture?  He gave me a song and dance about how he wasn't the one who we'd given the keys to for the car wash. I said, Je voudrais ma voiture ici maintenance! (I want my car here now.) 

I kept saying "Ou est notre voiture?",(where is our car?) and he didn't have much of an answer. He suggested it would be here "maintenant" and I said it wasn't here maintenant (now). He suggested that maybe the other guardian had taken it to have the rugs washed. (HA!) I actually enjoyed using my french and demanding the car. Jill and I had no idea where the car was, however, so my joy was slightly dampened. Yikes. 

I suggested we call the police, and they seemed upset by that. Another man showed up and was trying to calm me down in french. I just responded with "Ou est notre voiture?" and he didn't have a response, but asked if I had phone (in french). Now, what that has to do with anything is beyond me. Did he want my phone?

Then, the car suddenly sped into view. The guardian we had been speaking with yelled "Hshuma!" (Shame!) to the guy driving the car. I chimed in with Hshuma as well so I could practice my Arabic, and I also threw in, "C'est terrible!" to explain I was less than pleased. I think one guardian was down on his knees by Jill asking for forgiveness. 

I was concerned they had stolen my iPod from my school bag, but it was there, and I burst into tears, happy to know my music, my connection with home and life at home, had not been taken. Note to self: don't give your car keys to a total stranger in Morocco.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Miracle Art Supplies!

Working on crayon resist paintings.
Yes, some of the art supplies I ordered have arrived! Let us rejoice in art world! Not the big order from the USA - those are floating around happily out there in the Atlantic, hopefully in a cargo hold. It was really rewarding and encouraging to see the boxes arrive in my room six weeks after they were ordered from a store in the same town where I live:-) You can imagine how long packages from the USA might take gauging from the above rate of delivery.

crayon resist up close.

I worked with the children today on a number of projects. The younger ones had a crayon resist giraffe painting to work on, and the older ones worked on making color wheels (5th grade) or mosaics and drawing exercises (middle school). 

Color wheels by 4th and 5th grade -their first time!
The seventh grade class remains difficult. I am seeing they do best if they have several drawing activities to replicate, but activities requiring choices and freedom of expression are much harder for them. Maybe it is because they have not had art at the school. Maybe it is cultural?

I sense I was given a clue as to what art is about here in Morocco. A fifth grade student brought in her sketchbook. In it were drawings like the one here. It reminds me of the ironwork on doors and windows as well as henna painting the ladies design to decorate their hands, arms and feet. I was so excited she shared it with me, and I asked her if I could take a picture of her sketchbook drawing.

Sketchbook drawing.

I hope to add some designs like this to my artwork. It's funny to talk about my own artwork....every free minute I am working on thinking about curriculum or setting up for the next class. If anyone thinks being an art teacher at an elementary/middle school is part time, they haven't really walked in an art teacher's shoes. Today, I started mounting artwork of the first graders. I had to hunt up a cutting board, but there was no space in the office with the good cutting board to lay out all the art. No matter; I'll work through it. I am slowly getting over problems more easily. Playing praise music softly all day in my room helped my spirits:-)

Night is falling on my main street in Morocco. It is time for sleep. It's been another full day on my adventure in Morocco.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Art, Art, Art in Morocco!

Today was a wonderful day of helping the students make art. Several students also brought in art their relatives had made. One student brought in this butterfly his sister had made. I thought it was beautiful, and I asked if I could take a picture of it. He was pleased to share it. He said his sister took art lessons in Paris. I think it would be a fun project of middle school - sixth graders- to do. It looks like magazine mosaic on one side and colored pencil on the other side.

My fourth graders worked on crayon resist watercolors by drawing giraffes and shapes on the giraffes. We are studying the second element of art, shapes, in most classes. The different age groups have different projects for the study of shapes. The giraffes were fairly funny from the students; I was so, so proud of them for trying and for working so hard. They live art, which blesses my heart.

The fifth graders are making color wheels, and their joy at making green, orange and purple was incredible. I think one or two had done it before, but most were genuinely shocked when the new color appeared when mixing primary colors! I just loved their joy, and smiled a really big smile internally. My experience with them was one of those wonderful moments when my greatest joy and their greatest (art/creative) need met. ( “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”—Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life)

They seem to want constant affirmation. I keep telling them they are doing a great job, and I tell them I am assuming the very best about their work. I still need to figure out why they want constant affirmation for each decision they make.

I had the little, bitty Pre-K 3 year olds as well. I really loved singing with them the "Open, Shut Them" song, and I enjoyed helping them put the squished up bits of YELLOW tissue on the centers of the daisies in honor of YELLOW day. They are the cutest little ones. Some people might not like Pre-K, but I love them, and they take me back to my roots!

Chicken sandwich with olives:-)
Jill and I came home and decided to risk yet again....we went to a chicken sandwich hnoot (shack) to buy dinner. It was fun trying to order in french with a little Italian thrown in for laughs. They did get my french, and I was able to order, know how much it would cost, and, with a young gals help, ask to carry it out. (port). I am enclosing a picture of the sandwich, which is mostly olives with some chicken that had been free for the fly-taking until we showed up. I didn't eat much of the chicken. Fortunately, I love olives. 

The mosque down the street, no longer under my bedroom, is just starting up, and I am settling in for the night with my iPod:-)

Blessings from Morocco!

One of the many lovely mosaic tiles in Morocco.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Grasshoppers, Oh My!

Upon arriving home tonight, Jill had the pleasure of killing a giant grasshopper right in her own bedroom. I felt like the National Geographic photographer running for my Leica lens camera to snap the hunt and kill. When I wasn't screaming, I was trying to shield myself from the hopping madness of the enormous creature. Jill was the epitome of calm, just whacking the thing into submission and, finally, death. I have posted a picture of the hopper with Jill's watch so you might see the enormity of the local insects around here.

I had a good day in art world; my classes went well save the rambunctious middle school elective class. That one keeps me humble, almost groveling. Two boys were removed for fighting, and I had one boy leave because he would not take his head out of the box of pencils for the class; they were howling and laughing. He could not understand why I asked him to leave, and he returned soon after ready  to draw. He is actually fairly good; he just needs calming.

I drew a bit today in preparation for "yellow" day in K3 year olds tomorrow. I drew the daisies and the bee for them to squish up some yellow tissue paper I brought from the USA to glue in the middle of the daisies and on the bee. I'll try to post the end results tomorrow. I am trying to work with K3s a little differently because I am not teaching them the elements of art quite so thoroughly as the k5-7th grade. I also enjoy singing with them as well, just like my old days in Pre-K.

I am posting two pictures from my weekend travels. One is of a truckload of young men heading off down the highway, and another is of some women we spotted on the street...somewhat unusual. I enjoy seeing the colorful jellabas (coats with hats) they wear when out and about. 

I am off to bed, but I am going to do a search of my bedroom before I turn the lights out tonight. One never knows what sorts of creatures may be lurking in there! Yikes! Goodnight from wild Morocco tonight!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Universal Map

The Universal Map.
When we were leaving our giant metropolis yesterday morning, we got lost trying to find the main road out of town and onto the toll road. We ended up on a back road that fizzled into dirt. We asked an older gentleman sitting on a chair on the side of the road if he knew how to get to the toll road. He spoke in very slurred french, but then he got the bright idea of drawing a map to help us. I have included a picture of the map. We have decided to keep the original in our glove compartment to use in any situation. It is terse enough to be applicable for any situation one might find themselves in. It was an incredible help to us; we found the toll road easily. :-)

We did see some really hard things to comprehend; the poverty of some in the towns, the tired clothing on the lines, little children playing in potholes  because there was a pool of water there, and a number of men relieving themselves in public. We contrasted these things with the simple beauty of the farms laid out neatly along the highway.

One of the most interesting sites along the route today was a giant pelican's nest on top of a mosque. We stopped and quietly took several photos. The babies were fluttering about, but mom or dad was sitting proudly on the nest.
We saw so many farms, fields, donkeys, horses and fresh vegetables from the harvest. This was a neat and tidy area of Morocco. It seemed to be a farming community along the coast with hard-working farmers. Rocks were neatly piled up to make walls for fields. Long twigs and beach grass were used to make fencing. 

I was amazed at all that the donkeys were able to carry, and we marveled at all the different animals God has made for our pleasure, His pleasure and for helping us with our work.

I enjoyed contrasting the scenes of donkeys and farms with what I was reading in my devotions tonight.

This is the time of the year when  the Feast of Tabernacles has started for the Jews. This feast is a foretaste of the kingdom of God. And thus it is an exercise in freedom from worry. For a whole week they camp in huts, just like we saw along the road this weekend, made of branches, with roofs that are open to the sky. They enjoy the good life, the yield of the harvest, and laugh and drink in the company of family and friends. One can only really enjoy this, when one does not worry in advance about the cold and dark days that are approaching.

" 'Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own,’ Jesus advises, ‘today’s trouble is enough for today.’ Try to live day by day. That is what humans are made for. We cannot reach beyond that, though we often think we can. And try to live today as you would in the kingdom of God. Be open to the people around you. Dark clouds can cast substantial shadows, but these will always remain marked by the light that gives colour and space to our existence, like carefree splashes of paint." - by José Verheule

This week, I am going to work on taking one day at a time.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Frere Jacque in Morocco

It's the weekend - time for an adventure away from the classroom. I am sharing a place with 3 other women about two hours down the coast in a small beachside town called Ouidilia. Something like that.  The internet service is very slow, so I won't be posting much today. We had fun on the way as we drove along the Atlantic Ocean for miles. We saw our first camel and a man urinating behind a skinny tree. Half the time, we didn't know if we were really on the right road.  (En shall Allah) It all turned out well in the end.  We found cafes that actually served women! I have a picture of the "Tomato Beach" cafe. We had coffee and hot chocolate there since it became overcast this afternoon.

Tonight, we went to an old, french hotel and had all kinds of weird and unusual fish. The waiter, who was very proud of his English, kept bringing fish with eyes and fins both large and small. I don't think we realized what we had ordered in french. The table next to us was filled with loud, french Moroccan men. They were trying to connect with us, and we all even sang Frere Jacque together. However, we declined to involve ourselves further than to exchange pleasantries and to mention we were teachers. They said, "Bon Courage!" which means, you are brave. Do they know about the seventh graders?

I really enjoyed coming upon the pottery here that is from a place called Safi. I appreciate the carving on the  clay's surface and the deep colors of the glazes. Here is a picture of a goblet in our place that I'd like to buy from the owner. The locals keep saying I need to go to Fez for pottery. I'd love to get to Safi as well. It is at least another hour south; maybe another time.

The mosquitos have begun zeroing in on my laptop, so I will close for tonight. We hope to explore El Jadida tomorrow...another town along the shoreline with remains of a 16th century Portuguese settlement. Morocco has had all kinds of colonizers!

Goodnight from the lovely, eastern side of the Atlantic.
I miss America tonight. It may be hard for you all to understand, but we do have an awfully nice country.
The view out our front door in our place in Ouidilia
Post Script: The beach parties are in full swing at 1 AM in the sleeping so far tonight. I wonder where a quiet getaway in this country might be?????
And, while I am thinking about it, today, a travel mate said to me that I came up in her class's conversation. She told her class she could not draw well when drawing something for a math problem. Her students said, "Oh no, the art teacher says everyone is an artist because they were created by an artist God and we all can create." I guess they are listening:-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Basic Nutrition

Note the Coke in the basket of healthy foods.
In my neck of the woods in Morocco, Coke is basic nutrition. I'm not talking about narcotics, but I am talking about the basic beverages of Coka-Cola including Coke lite, Coke Zero and your original Coka-Cola. They offer coke at all meals including meals in the school cafeteria. I even have a sign from our new favorite hnoot  to prove the significance of Coke. With the help of a new french dictionary, I can sort out all kinds of signs and slogans. This one says, "Basic (or General) Nutrition!"

Our current favorite hnoot.
Jill and I stopped into the hnoot  after a lovely dinner at Sunny Beach. I had a rather rocky end to my day with those wild seventh graders, so I was game for a little caprise salade and a glass of french wine at our special Sunny Beach. We looked out at the rough, beautiful surf, and we unwound from the day's cacophony of children's voices, prayers from the mosque and mopeds long in need of mufflers. 

The surf at Sunny Beach.
I had some good moments in art today; I am trying hard to meet the children where they are as far as ability and skill. They seem to be 3 years or so behind the children I have taught. One fifth grader today asked me to show her what to do with a paint brush and the paint in a watercolor set. She had never seen one before. And to think, they are sometimes used as party favors in the USA.

I was hoping for such good things from my big, passionate Starry Night presentations. The students just couldn't seem to do it. They would rather chat and flirt with each other. During my fifth grade class, I was trying to help a student focus and move onto painting her drawing of trees by saying, "I will be putting the paints away after today." She got a smile on her face and said, "And where will you be putting them?" I replied, "Is that any concern of yours?" (The one asking the questions is in control of the conversation....look how Jesus handled questions when people were hoping to trap Him.) 

Crayon resist painting demo.
The younger students did seem to enjoy the project with shapes. We are onto the second element in art: shapes. I had the young students trace around different shapes, using crayons,  after showing them one of Piet Mondrian's paintings and Pablo Picasso's Three Musicians. I really enjoy the lively shapes in that work. Here is my demo with the shapes.

Picasso's Three Musicians
I cut up the backs of sketchpads to make the shapes, and students traced around them. I am making good use of all the odds and ends donated to my art supply cause. I was told the supplies would come today. Then, today I was told they would come next Monday. My thinking has to be, "En Sha Allah" (if God wills) because otherwise, I would loose heart at this point.

Caprise Salade at Sunny Beach! Bon Apetito!

Our landlord just came by with bills for electricity, 

water and repairs in the apartment. He said "buon conto,
 bon amies!" It was a little Italiano and french
meaning - good (correct) bill, good friends.
I like that.
Tomorrow morning, 4 of us head two hours south to explore a small beach town. We are overnighting, and I am hoping to work on my own art. I am bringing paint and brushes!  The forecast is for sunny weather! Onto the next adventure in Morocco...and the next Coke, of course!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lost and Found

In spite of my fatigue - Je suis fatigue, I want to share the best little bit of news of today. Yesterday, I discovered that 350 dirhams were missing from my desk drawer. It was money from an art student for middle school art. The office wouldn't take the money from me because they said there wasn't an account for middle school art supplies. Tell me about it! They made me take it with me. Only in Morocco.

The money, about $45 US dollars, was taken during the evening before I discovered it missing. So, I shot up a prayer like I always do. Please God, you know where that money is; can you please have it returned? I said my prayer with a mustard seed of faith. 

Sometimes, my prayers turn out the way I ask. Sometimes they don't. That's one way I know God is God and I am not. So, I left it with Him. After I prayed, I locked my desk drawer, heaven forbid that they should take my lipstick, and headed home. No way the thief could put it back in my desk drawer.

This morning, I came in, glanced at my desk, and there in the middle lay my $350 dirhams, with the post-it note and paperclip clasping it all together. OK, I breathed. Wow. I really got the money returned. Have you ever felt that deep joy when all is right for a moment? That's how I felt when I saw that money. I thanked God and ran around telling anyone who would listen to me: teachers, the guards, Facebook friends and the head of security.

Jill and I had a good, restorative walk along the Atlantic shoreline this evening. The evening mist rolled in, but not before a beautiful sunset. I like the contrast between the dark fisherman and the brightness just before sunset. I captured the lone fisherman as well as a shot with Jill heading toward the fisherman.
Power walking in the low tide was refreshing.  I just walked all my stress from teaching away.It went out with the tide! I'll post what we did in art tomorrow. Lots of good things did happen. For tonight, enjoy the east side of the Atlantic.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Van Gogh Goes To Morocco!

My demo - Starry Night with palm trees of Morocco.
With great apologies to Vincent Van Gogh and his love for the south of France, I have taken him to Morocco. I think he'd be pleased. I demonstrated drawing with oil pastels on black construction paper. I had fun during my planning period making this sample. It was creative fun making my swirls of starry light.

I had gone over the fact that line "is  a moving point", and today I added the element of shapes. The students had to combine lines and shapes in a drawing of their village under a starry night. It was all very new to them. They know tiles and mosaic; they know decorative carving on ceilings that might have painted sections. However, they know nothing of landscapes and dreamy night skies in lovely France. 

I will post their attempts after they put more layers and detail in their drawings. I have enough oil pastel (donated by a second grade teacher named Gail) for a couple of classes. Then I will be out.  

I told students about Van Gogh. I told them he was a strong Christian, and that's why he had a church in a prominent place in his painting. He was amazed by the night sky, and he wanted to try to capture the sense of light he saw and felt when he looked up at night. I was passionate. I was cheering for Van Gogh in all his starry splendor right here in Morocco. 

One student said other countries could have Christians, but only muslims lived in Morocco. I said they still needed to know to respect other people and allow them to have their own faith. I mentioned that artists of faith express that faith in their work.(It is a similar conversation I have been having with artists in America.) It was a good conversation. 

They had never seen oil pastels before or Starry Night. So, thanks, Van Gogh for a pretty cool painting to bring to Morocco! I pray the children enjoy Van Gogh and Rembrandt and Da Vinci and Monet and many, many more in the days ahead.

My Main Street
I want to share a funny incident that happened a couple of nights ago, but first I want to let you see our donkey cart vendor. He is often outside our apartment, and we are able to buy fruit from him, or just enjoy the crazy charm of a donkey cart coming and going on our main street.

Now onto my funny story. Jill and I were on a long, beach walk after work a couple of nights ago. A stray dog decided to be our best pal. We kept hoping our flea infested friend would forget about us....or lope off to pester someone else. No way; we were fast friends even if we did not want to be. He was a ginger color, so we laughed and thought of calling him gin, short for ginger, but it soon became Gin and Tonic. (What can I say, we were exhausted from work and being silly. We aren't heavy drinkers.) 

Except, there wasn't a second dog, so we had no "tonic". Just after we said that, a second, smaller dog that looked like Gin showed up. That made us laugh out loud with joy! Even though we didn't want to like them, we did. Gin and Tonic walked and walked with us. The funny thing was we were always trying to lose them. Then a strange thing happened. 

We were walking through an area of the beach that some other stray dogs seemed to think they owned. Who do they think they are, we thought. Before we knew it, they were attacking our Gin and Tonic. Jill and I began yelling at the "territorial" dogs. And then, well, something in me, pent up frustration from work? seventh graders?, let loose, and I yelled at the new stray dogs to stop being such bullies and to go away. I demanded they leave "our" dogs alone. Go away, I screamed. 

They did, and then, of course, Gin and Tonic, became loyal to the death to us. Jill and I laughed at ourselves. Yikes. Again, just like our line of beggars, what have we created? We were going to have to say goodbye at the end of the walk. And, yes we did. We saw them standing in the place where our car had been parked wagging their tails goodbye as we drove home that night.

I just feel good I helped here in Morocco....even it is so 2 stray dogs can have a nice, safe walk on the beach one afternoon, protected from bullies. 

And just maybe, in a strange and wonderful way, showing the students a beautiful starry night by a man of faith, just might scare the bullies of their amazing minds and hearts away. Maybe , I opened a window?

"The danger of making a single story of a person or place, the definitive story, is that it robs them of their dignity and flattens our experience."
Chimamanda Adichie 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Drying the Wash

Another day has come and gone in wild, unusual and interesting Morocco. I am working on a crayon resist drawing, and hoping to go to bed five minutes ago. 

I was just checking my wash that I had hung up this morning. I was hoping a clean nightie was dry. Nope. Then, I was thinking how nice it would be to have a dryer and "Bounce" softener sheets. Think how nice it feels against one's face when warm clean clothes come out of an American dryer. Aahhh. Now that is clean.

Life here is a little like hanging up one's wash to dry. The drying process or pace lasts a couple of days with bugs and salt air prolonging the process. The clothing, once pulled in from outside, looks tired, stiff, faded and a little yellow. Life in Morocco has a similar pace and (sometimes) look. 

For example: one starts out for the local grocery store with high hopes, and three hours later one returns, not having worn a seatbelt, but having evaded scads of donkeys, loud, muffler-free mo-peds and crazy white taxis. One always feels and looks tired, stiff, faded and a little yellow after a grocery run.

Just like the wash drying on my porch.

Let's see what tomorrow brings in Morocco. I am hoping for something absolutely wonderful.  As I go off to sleep tonight, I think, yes, I am tired, stiff and a little faded, but still brightly, boldly trusting God.
 I just wonder what He is up to with me here in this place.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Morocco Monday

A second grader's trees.
School went well today, except for the last period of the day. I have to keep praying about it. It is the seventh grade class, and there are a number of dynamics going on in the classroom that make teaching difficult. I just want them to succeed in art-making. Thankfully, one boy actually got what I was trying to have them understand about proportion, and he drew the face really well. He even did it a second time! I felt it was a small victory, and I suggested he consider careers in art.

First thing this morning, I just loved it when a little boy in cute glasses ran up to me in the cafeteria and hugged me. I guess he loves art! So cute and a very nice way to start my day. 

I finished up the project I had done with many students while teaching my younger students. I helped direct their painting of their trees in their own style. We were running out of watercolor paints, and the students were fairly good about sharing what we had left. Having 25 in a classroom painting is quite a feat for any teacher:-) and constantly worrying about supplies running out is wearing on me.

I did receive a small gift this afternoon - someone gave me 3 watercolor sets after school. Whoever that was, thank you so much! That will help with our paintings tomorrow! Bless you.

It tasted better than it looks:-)
When we returned home, the house cleaners had made dinner and cleaned the place from top to bottom. I had to take a picture of the dinner so you could see the combination of apricots, chicken, almonds, cumin and some other spices on top of a bed of rice. It was really yummy; it is my new favorite Moroccan dish. It's a good thing I liked it because I haven't been interested in anything Moroccan lately.

The ladies have continued to be consistent in cleaning everything from top to bottom including organizing our cabinets. We are hoping to become friends in time. One funny thing is they don't seem to know where to put the final bag of trash. It should be taken right outside, but they don't seem to get where to give that final, full bag the heave ho. I guess we'll share the good news about the local trash can.

I enjoyed looking out the apartment window after a great walk on the beach and a stop at a hnoot we just found as we returned from the beach walk. It was a walk-in hnoot , and we were able to find, coffee, fresh milk, mosquito killer stuff and much more. I think we are set for little grocery stores! After the shopping spree at the new hnoot , I took some final looks at our neighborhood across the street. Our neighbors must be cleaning their rugs!  The boy with his donkey is making his final attempts at a sale of something or other...probably cactus fruit. 

Everything is wrapping up in Moocco...except for the motorcycle drivers. They are just getting going!

As i head to bed, I remind myself of my scripture I am working on memorizing:

57:1 says, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge.”