It wasn’t that last week was so incredibly busy, although it was. It was more that when I did have time, I just didn’t feel like posting. So I didn’t.

Here are some fragments on our week, none quite long enough for a post, yet when taken together really far too long…

LAST Monday:

Eid Sayeed, on the odd chance I have any Muslim readers. Happy Feast! it means. It is traditional to say Moubarak, or congratulations, on this day, Eid al Fitr, or Feast of the Break-fast.

We started off in style. Ismail knocked on the door about 9, resplendent in a cream, floor-length djellaba, yellow babouches (Moroccan leather slippers), and red fez. (I am buying Donn the same outfit for his birthday; don’t tell him) He brought us a tray of fresh hot Moroccan crepes, two different kinds (one like a crumpet, one in layers), a little pot of honey mixed with melted butter, and a pot of pale, steaming mint tea—all made by his mother.

Elliot had a friend over. Today was supposed to be our first day to sleep in since school started. I had a plan wherein the sun woke me up as normal about 6:30 but I slipped on the eyeshade from Air France and went back to sleep till 9 or so. This plan was thwarted by the free concert put on by the mosque. I have heard such long songs sung the first day of Ramadan, but never before on the first day of the Eid. It wasn’t really a concert, of course, just a long song (as in an hour long), but it was different from any other I’ve heard—there were definitely two parts, and a sort of response to the first. It was very melodic.

We spent the day relaxing, hanging out. In the afternoon, Donn and I stopped by the Tour de Hassan. The Tour de Hassan is an odd place. It always gets mentioned among Rabat’s tourist attractions, but I personally find it a bit boring. It was intended to be a match for the tallest mosque in the world, but it was only half finished. Now it’s a large tower fronted by a pretty garden, with a pavement scattered with columns in various phases of construction. It’s guarded by guards…hmmm…surely I can say this better. Yes. Men on horseback in colourful costumes guard each entrance. Right next to it is a working mosque and the Mausoleum where Mohamed V and Hassan II, the current king’s grandfather and father, are buried. It’s worth a visit as it is extremely ornate and vibrant.

(I will post pics tomorrow because my connection is tempermental and does not WANT to post pics right now.)

While we’d visited before, we had no idea that it is apparently the place to go on a holiday. As we drove up, we noted stands piled high with oranges, with young men eager to squeeze you a glassful of fresh juice. There were vendors selling popcorn and candy and enormous balloons. Rabat was out in its finery. Families were strolling about. Children were clamouring all over the pillars, posing for photos, playing hide and seek. The atmosphere was party-like. Everyone was in a good mood, calling out to each other, celebrating the end of a long hard month.

Thursday:

Today I learned the Dareja word for earring.

I had to run an errand this morning, but it was in my neighbourhood, and I walked over. I clearly remember at one point thinking a fly had flown in my ear and batting at it. So later, when I got home and realized I had lost an earring, one of a really pretty set I got in Wales this summer, I was sure I had batted it away thinking it was a fly.

There was nothing for it but to go back. So back I went, eyes on the ground, garnering a lot of attention as I wandered slowly up the street. When I got to the place I thought I’d lost it, a school was just getting out and the street was full of children. I appealed to them for help and was soon surrounded. They called to each other, and bent down to help, searching piles of trash that were weeks old, scuffling through the tiny patches of dirt and weeds around each street light. They were fun, generous with their efforts, surrounding me and chattering away in Dareja and demanding over and over again to see my remaining earring. I tried to communicate, in my mangled mix of Dareja and French, where I lived, just in case they found it later, but I had no very high hopes. It was gone.

Friday:

Friday night was the parent teachers meetings for the twins. What better way to start the weekend? We sat in desks while teachers paraded in and out, announcing their names and subjects taught and demands made. (There are a lot of demands, actually) One thing was clear: as Jack Black puts it in School of Rock, the kids are learning everything we’d want them to know. Math, science…math…French…math…it’s all covered. So that was a relief.

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