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Friday, July 26, 2019

Be Our Guests!

We greeted our first guests, Lynne and Debbie, from home this week!  In spite of the emergency landing due to a passenger's heart attack and an other small glitch, our visitors arrived happy and laden to the gills with "stuff" from home!!!  Thank you!

Sam beat them by just a day.  He's backpacking across the Middle East and Northern Africa--pretty footloose and fancy free before he joins the Marines at Quantico this fall.  We befriended Sam in Beijing as part of the Young Adults we shepherded.  Sam treated me and a couple of other friends (including a PKU student, Elijah) to a moonlight tour of Princeton University a fall or two ago.  We reciprocated in Morocco with a washing machine and all the macaroni tuna salad he could get down!

We've got our "Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood" walking tour down to a fine art.  First stop is always Tour Hassan for a rousing dose of guards on and off horses and some good old fashioned Islamic mausoleums and mosques.

This cat was sent to officially welcome us to the Kasbah.
Word spread quickly in the medina that the Americans HAD LANDED and were ready to shop!!!!

Within 24 hours we'd hopped into a van with our CMEPS partners, Hmoudou, Naj Out, and driver Hicham and bumped across Morocco to Beni Mellal.  I chronicle this visit on blogpost "Workday".  Lynne and Debbie had no idea their trip to Morocco would include doing time as ROCKSTARS!

I warned them this day could very well be a highlight of the trip.  
It most certainly would NEVER be included in a tour package...

The Beni Mellal night life included sharing homemade potato chips with these guys.  The middle one must have kissed Debbie 15 time.  We gave them some coins for some tricks they did.

The Moroccan Waterman is not always out and about in the medinas.  This one was very joyfully present, thank goodness!  

Cascade d'ouzou--sort of "Disney Meets Mad River Float Trips."

Our trusty chauffeur, Hicham, right before he dove off the side of the raft.  

Ever the gentleman, Hmoudou.

I pick through Jerry like this sometimes too.  Grooming appears to be trans species behavior.

Traditional Moroccan tajine--we'll see if our guests make good on their "threat" to buy one and cook in it back home!

Our guests brought a very large bag of dollar store toys to hand out.  This guy promised to do that when school recommences in the fall, but the obligatory photo op took place anyway.  The blue bag had some awesome Lego deals in it.

Beautiful sweet Naj Out at the royal palace in Marrakech

This hand just appeared when I was going to take a photo through the window!  Cool!

Our visit to Marrakech took an interesting twist after a chance meeting with Abdul of Galerie Marzouk!  He provided rugs, couscous, plates, rugs, teapots, rugs, caftans, rugs and stories.  Icing on the Moroccan cake, so to speak!

Abdul made a token appearance in "Jewel of the Nile" as a camera thief Kathleen Turner ran afoul of in a market place.  He raved about Danny DeVito, but he didn't have nice words at all for Ben Kingsley (another movie) who treated his guy (four pictures down with the rugs on his head) poorly.

Something about standing in a platter shows his authenticity or something.

Wall of Fame photos--Bill and Hilary are in there somewhere.

Yes, that bundle is hurtling its way to Idaho on a mail plane!

Rug retail made Lynne very very happy.

Marrakech medina

Tangiers, Morocco

Kicking down the coblestone in Tangier's medina

Hanging with the Humpsters where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean 



beach--Tangiers, Morocco--

and then a whole lot of wonderful Chefchaouen!!!

Au revoir!  Sorry about the last minute mugging in Casablanca.  You would not get THAT on the bus tour either...

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