I was gone for some 20 days from my village, and when I arrived home on Tuesday afternoon after racing a blizzard through the Middle Atlas I had a few surprises:
1. My host brother, Smail, has moved to Oujda on the border with Algeria to string power lines. This after nearly a year at home and no prospect of work when I left for Italy - I know, we had a very specific conversation on the subject. He didn't really want to leave home - but the problem with rural Morocco - especially if you don't own a farm, is that if their are no jobs their really is no money.
2. A 20 year old man who lives in the mountains above my village died last week from exposure after being trapped on my volcano in a storm. Yes, I do live in Africa - but yes it is also cold. Also, I do not understand how the shepherds and their flocks of sheep do it - living at or below zero exposed to the elements wearing little clothing and carrying even less gear.
3. The new Imam, Ali, left the village. My village has now had six Imams since June. This might tell you something about my village and my villagers. Sometimes they argue - a lot. The old Imam, Hassan, the first one I met, has moved back to Zeida - a way of rubbing it in the face of my village that he was a good Imam. Or at least I think that might be part of his motivation...
4. Nora, my 23 year old host sister accompanied her husband and his family to Casablanca to see some of the family off on the Haj to Mecca. Afterwards she decided to stay - just because. Possibly just because she had never been in a place with weather as nice as that of Rabat's. Anyway - no one is sure when she is coming back, though they are pretty sure she is...
5. In personal news I finally got my Carte De Sejour today, right after I got back from the reason I needed it - travelling outside Morocco! Thanks red tape! How I love efficiency!
So that's the news from the foot of La Rais. Their might be more - after all when I first asked my host dad what was new in the village he said "Kif Waloo" - nothing.
5 years ago