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Friday, April 19, 2019

Sebt Gzoula

A perfect tea party.

This was a tender little exchange I just happened to catch.  The older man had his arm so lovingly around the little boy.

After our meeting ended we took a farm tour!

These are actually olive trees because they have been cultivated in rows.  Argan trees, on the other hand, cannot be cultivated.  They are merely acts of God wherever they appear.  So so cool and such apt imagery for so many precious things.

A perfect argan tree!  We traveled a ways to get to it. 

My awesome friend Sue (from China Teachers) sent me this picture from a trip to Morocco she and Rick took.  I think this probably takes place when the seed/nut is a little more mature.

The harvest

Argan nut cracking demo

At the end of our farm visit--but not before we sat down to bread dipped in argan oil, dates, almonds and walnuts ("It is particularly delicious to open the date and insert a walnuts!"), oranges and mint tea,  we were presented with this.  I love it beyond even words.  We will hoard it to the last lazy shake-the-bottle drop...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Donkey Tonk Woman!

We represented LDS Charities at two two day sessions of training.  The first city, Essaouira, was too windy for much wandering, but Sebt Gzoula was perfect!

This donkey's cargo was several large containers of oil--perhaps olive or argan.  In the case of the latter, this should have been an armored car!!!  Precious and expensive!

I had challenges taking pictures--One, I had to leap in and out of the way of carts and cars!  And two, my camera seemed intimidating and even scary to them.  I didn't even know what I had here until I could lighten it up and crop it on my computer.  

Jerry forgot his shaver, and he and this donkey grew more similar as the days passed!

I fell instantly and deeply in love with every. single. one.  Sent me scampering to classifieds to see what a little donkey would run me back home.

This guy had nice clean blinders.  Maybe he's in training.

I loved the exotic purple cart cover!

I rubbed his ears, and he seemed to like it. I am going to find out what the donkey go-to snack of preference is! 

Each and every one was oozing with character.

I know!!!!!

I must have met over a hundred donkeys.  When I finally made my way back to the training, I had a good robust donkey odor about me.

And my favorite.  Out in the country.  Not a perfect photo--they were clipping along and kept turning their heads when they saw my camera.  But look at their faces...

Windows to the Soul

Outstanding Faces of the Week

In the number one spot is this incredibly beautiful woman who slowly removed herself from a donkey cart on a Sunday morning in Sebt Gzoula.  Catching this photo was a tender mercy.

I remember seeing a film in a sociology class at BYU on self-actualization which featured a humble South American farmer.  This guy pretty much embodies that whole concept.

This little family (husband and other son below) caught my eye in the crowded streets.  I have NEVER felt more pure joy just oozing out of these parents.  Ever.  The mother handed me the baby saying, "Trez jolie!  Trez jolie! (Very pretty)  The little boy was filthy and had a snotty nose, but I know from experience that without constant surveillance ANY kid his age can get that way in a matter of minutes!

We hugged and hugged and had a very animated non verbal "conversation"!  They were not begging, but I was delighted to slip her a bill I had.

A contemplative baby I zoomed in on from quite a ways away.

I discovered the magic of handing out a few coins to the street kids.  Sebt Gzoula is waaaay off the beaten tourist path--nothing really to draw visitors.  I found it OVER THE TOP wonderful in every way.  We hope we can return for some projects!!!!

Some of the faces of Interweave training

We had no common language, but we seemed to communicate!

This is Moona.  She speaks English articulately, designs clothing, owns a little boutique, is divorced and was attending Interweave training with her uncle, a retired Arabic teacher.  We hope to help her with her business to employ Moroccan mothers who want to work at home.  Her cousin is the handicapped artist a few pictures down.

Jahlil, our trainer, on the left and the argan oil farmer on the right.  After the training was over we went to his farm!!!!!!!  It was GRAND!!!!!!

Isn't she sooooo beautiful?  At the argan oil farm

And a little sister

Future argan oil farmers--FFA?

These little guys were shy, so I had to kind of chase them around which they loved, of course.  My zoom helped too.

A true homage to my Canon SX740 HS.  This little lady was way off in the distance!

A street troubadour in the Essaouira medina

He was hobbling with the help of some cool homemade walking sticks.--Essaouira

A joyous street artist--Essaouira

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley