I See the Sea (and Sheep)

10 Mar

Almost a week later, here’s my update on El-Jadida and my day on the farm!

I’ve just gotten seriously upsetting news, and my emotions are a little ragged right now, so if this post comes off as snarky or apathetic or bland or whatever in parts, I apologize in advance. It’s hard to be bubbly when your hopes keep getting dashed.

Anyway.

Friday I went home with Macarena, we had couscous, I went to Alaina’s place and had lunch part 2, then Alaina and I caught the train to El Jadida. The ride from Rabat to Casa and then Casa to El Jadida was beautiful, as usual. But that’s just Morocco.

We got to El-Jadida, hopped in a cab, who took us to the medina where our hotel was, stopped the cab, got out, and said, “We can’t take the car farther – I’ll show you the rest of the way.” Very nice of him. We got to the hotel, saw some hot Spaniards checking in while we were checking in and both checking out each other and then went to our room. For some reason, there was a random stone (read: cinder block) wall in our room. But that’s fine, it was cheap (50 Dhs each, or less than $6 per night) and clean. We settle in, then head out to get dinner (since it’s about 8pm now). We go to this little restaurant between to big ones that are FILLLLLLLLEDDD with guys who keep staring at us. The restaurant’s cooks were two sisters and it was run by one of their husbands. I made that all up, I have no idea what the people’s relationships to each in that restaurant were, but I like to make up stories that romanticize things. I had some legume soup, Alaina had some calamari (it was delicious. SO FRESH).

Then we went to meet up with the rest of the girls who had gotten to El-Jadida earlier that day. Where were they? Oh, they were in a bar. What was the bar called? It was called Le Tit. I kid you not. We went there, had some beers, were the only women in the whole bar with about 60 guys staring at us intently. Good times. Then we went to another bar and had the same thing happen. Good times.

Then we went back to the hotel (we were all staying the same place) and talked for like 3 hours before everyone went back to their respective rooms for sleepy times.

Next morning, Brittany, Alaina and I got up a bit earlier than Kate, Michelle and Abesha and got coffee (and Pringles in my bag) for a pre-petite manger meal. Then we all met up, and went to this restaurant on top of a building looking out over the Atlantic ocean. It was gorgeous. My crepe tasted like a chicken pot pie. Weird.

Afterwords, we walked to the Portuguese city (El-Jadida = originally Portuguese apparently) and walked along the ramparts of the old town, admiring the views and such idyll pastimes. Then we split up and Brittany and I went to see a communal bakery while the others went to go sit on a cafe on the beach.

So we went to the bakery. Where the man spoke to me only in French, very quickly. My French is the equivalent of my knowledge in dance theory – I might be able to BS some of it but pretty quickly my flimsy attempts at understanding run out. Anywho, afterwards Brittany and I finished walking around the walled city, and made a short pit stop into our near death in a completely dark/smelly/terrifying prison. Which we were too terrified to check out.

At this point, Macarena, Caity and Anna have arrived in El-Jadida and are heading to meet up with the girls on the beach. We go to join them, and we all sit for a while drinking coffee/tea and chatting. We then head to the cistern, the big tourist site (meaning not that big) in El-Jadida. It was pretty awesome, if slightly mildewy. Happens when it’s hundreds of years old.

Afterwards, we got lunch (yum shawarma) and then all of us caught the 5pm train back to Rabat. We had a ridiculous fun time on the trains, and probably annoyed everyone else in our train car to the point of¬†contemplating 1) suicide or 2) violence against women. Yeah, we aren’t obnoxious.

——————————————————————————————————————————————–

Sunday I got up early to go to AMIDEAST so we could to go a farm! Only seven kids showed up, so it was me, Alaina, Anna, Caity, Carson, Michelle, and Brittany. Which was great, because I don’t think the day would have turned out so well if we had more people.

We get into our mini-bus and head about an hour outside of Rabat (which puts your firmly in farm land. Twenty minutes outside of Rabat puts you firmly in farm land.) and stop at a country souk to meet with Chikiri, one of our professors and the owner of the farm we’re going to. A country souk is kinda like a farmer’s market (but a serious farmer’s market, with livestock and butchers and EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE) and a flea market. It’s very hectic, we were the only whities there and it was a bit overwhelming…but absolutely interesting. After Chikiri made some purchases (and we got to eat the best oranges I have ever tasted) we headed to his farm “house”. House? More like mansion. It was GORGEOUS. You can go through the pictures in my FB album and see what I mean.

We spent the day playing with a 10-day old calf (omg favorite), hiking the countryside, making fresh lemonade, stuffing our selves with delicious homemade food, planting a tree, making bread, in general an excellent time.

Loved that calf. So adorable. It liked me too :).

And that’s all I have.

I’m going to Rome in two days. On my own. Macarena literally cannot get a visa, so I’m traveling solo. Should be interesting. But I just wish Macarena could have gone with me – she needs a break more than I do.

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