It’s been nice to have a break and hangout by the seaside in Rabat this week. While I love my town and its people, escaping the heat for a bit is helping to renew my spirit. As volunteers, in order to better assimilate, we were prohibited from leaving our site for three months. Near the end of that time, it was difficult. Being prohibited from something often creates the desire for it.
The weather here is 20-25 degrees cooler. It’s usually sunny most the day then overcast in the early evening as the ocean brings clouds every afternoon. While the ocean breeze is wonderful, the humidity of Rabat is making me miss the dry desert. We washed some clothes when we arrived on Sunday and here we are on Wednesday and they are still damp. Well, everything’s damp, maybe that’s as dry as they get. Back home, clothes sometimes dry as quickly as 5 minutes.
The beach nearby is beautiful. There is quite an active ocean fishing culture. I’m not sure the species they are after. They use huge poles that cast way out into the waves. I stumbled upon a group of men shelling mussels. In the photo, you can see a huge pile of empty shells. (Click to enlarge.) The also harvested some type of anemone, I think, that lives in a tube and has a scaly outer tip that has led to it being called, black fingernail. Though, admittedly, there might have been a loss in translation.
Perhaps the biggest surprise, however, was a classic Buick sitting outside a beach-side home. It was in excellent condition. Though we had seen the occasional Mercedes or BMW, most of the cars in Morocco are French, such as Peugeot or Renault. To see an American car was weird.
Anyway, training is going well and it’s been great to see my cohorts again. As Erika noted, this is a good reminder how important it is to take short breaks from our town for renewal.Below is a gallery of images of our trip so far.